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From a miniature by Samuel Cooper in the possession of Lord Aldenham 

1 CHARLES II 7 t> 


M.A., M.D. OXON., F.R.C.P. 

OXFORD r^fi3 









OF late years much of the history of medicine has 
been written : the medicine of history still remains 
an almost unturned soil. Norman Moore's sketches 
suggest what there is to do, and show how it should 
be done. For the appearance of this brief study an 
interlude of illness in the midst of an active profes- 
sional life is at once the excuse and the explanation. In 
reading Macaulay's account of the death of Charles II, 
it could not but be apparent, that whatever the manner 
of his dying, apoplexy was not, as historians have 
determined, the cause. This at first led me to think 
that, after all, the suspicions of poison might not be so 
ill-founded as is generally believed. But when I came 
to examine and compare all the available accounts of 
eyewitnesses and contemporaries, I found that it was 
no difficult task to piece together a typical picture of 
death from chronic granular kidney (a form of Bright's 
disease) with uraemic convulsions. The search also 
revealed, that though the narrative of the death-bed has 
been described with enviable picturesqueness both by 
Jesse and by Macaulay, no one appears to have done so 
with any approach to accuracy. Macaulay has warned 
the unwary of the difficulty of digesting the vast mass 
of materials into a consistent narrative. This dyspepsia 
I have wantonly courted, and have satisfied at any rate 
myself, that it is a mere matter of sufficient mastication 
to reduce it to a simple assimilable state. Picturesque 
language is a dangerous medium for the expression of 
accurate observation, and in reconstructing the story 
I have purposely contented myself with a bald presenta- 

A 2 


tion of facts. I am well aware that the world at large 
regards minute accuracy as the acme of boredom. 
I am aware too that dullness and prolixity are the 
inalienable property of my profession ; these latter 
I trust I have avoided. 

History nowadays has ceased to be narrative, and has 
become philosophical ; yet the need for minute accuracy 
is none the less, for even philosophers cannot draw 
right conclusions from wrong premisses. 

I have transcribed and translated the manuscript 
account by Sir Charles Scarburgh of the death of 
Charles II. For permission to do so I owe my thanks 
to the Council of the Society of Antiquaries, in whose 
library it is deposited. It is a valuable supplement to 
the lay literature of the subject. 

My primary object in putting pen to paper has been 
to establish the true cause of the death of Charles II. 
I have therefore confined myself, as far as practicable, 
in what follows, to such matters only as bear directly 
or indirectly on this question. It would have been 
impertinent in me to discuss controversial matter in 
connexion with the diplomacy, the religion, the character 
or the lack of it in the man, in spite of its supreme 

R. C. 









CHARLES II (Frontispiece] 

MASK OF THE EFFIGY .... To face p. 18 




The following list embraces the more important contributions to 
the literature of the subject : 

Memoirs of Thomas, second Lord Ailesbury [Roxfrnrghe Club]. 
Dispatches of Barillon } Depot des Affaires Etrangeres : also in 
Dispatches of Louis XIV) Dalrymple's Memoirs. 
Dispatches of Van Citters : Rijks-Ar chief, the Hague : some in 

Mackintosh MSS., British Museum. 
Jo. Hudleston : Brief Account of What Occurred On His Death Bed 

in Regard to Religion. 
Sir Charles Scarburgn : MS. in Society of Antiquaries, Burlington 

House. (No. 206.) 
Philip, second Earl of Chesterfield : Some short Notes for my 

remembrance of things and accidents, as they yearly happened 
to me. 

Sir H. Ellis : Original Letters. 
J. S. Clarke : Life of James II. 
J. Wei wood : Memoirs of the most Material Transactions in England 

for the Last Hundred Years Preceding the Revolution in 1688. 
Stuart Papers. 

Privy Council Records in Privy Council Office. 
Chaillot MS., British Museum. 
Somers Broadside in Somers Civil Tracts. 
London Gazette. 
Pepys' Diary. 
Evelyn's Diary. 

Burnett History of My Own Time. 
Hawkins: Life of Ken. 
Dugdale's Correspondence. 

Secret History of Reigns of Charles II and James II. 
Sir H. Halford : Deaths of Eminent Persons. 
Westminster Abbey Register of Burials. 
Hon. Henry Sidney : Diary of the Times of Charles II. 
Boero (Giuseppe) : Isf. delta conversione di Carlo' II d 1 Inghilterra. 
Life and Times of Anthony Wood (Oxford Historical Society). 
Hon. R. North : Autobiography. 

Examen: enquiry into the credit of a pretended 

compleat history. 

, , Lives of Guildford. Lord North, and Hon. Sir Dudley 


Fountainhall : Historical observes of memorable occurrents. 
Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire : Works. 
W. Harris : Account of life of Charles II. 
Narcissus Luttrell : Brief relation of State affairs. 
Macpherson : History of Great Britain. 
Cibber, Apology for the life of. By himself. 
Bradley : Annals of Westminster Abbey . 
J. Hughes : Boscobel Tracts. 

Jesse : Memoirs of the court during the reigns of the Stuarts. 
Munk : Roll of College of Physicians. 
Forneron : Louise ae Ke'roualle. 
Pharmacopoeia y 1677. 


THE literature of the death-bed of Charles II is 
singularly abundant and interesting. There are in 
existence no less than eight descriptions from the pens 
of eyewitnesses. If these accounts are examined side 
by side, and statement weighed against statement, 
a striking agreement will be found to exist among 
them. It will be well, perhaps, to enumerate these 
principal sources of information. They are: 

1. The Memoirs of Thomas, second Lord Ailesbury. 
As Gentleman of the Bedchamber he was in intimate 
relation to King Charles, both before and during the 
illness. His memoirs, commenced in 1729, were written 
abroad, where he had lived in exile for many years. 
Presumably, therefore, they were compiled without 
facilities for reference, and he tells us that he had no 
notes to aid his memory. One cannot fail to perceive 
that they were written in reply to, and for the most part 
to refute, the narrative of Welwood in the Memoirs 
of the most Material Transactions in England for the 
Last Hundred Years Preceding the Revolution in 
1688. In places the language makes it almost certain 
that Ailesbury actually wrote with Welwood's Memoirs 
before him. 

2. The Dispatches of Barillon, the French Ambassador 
in London, to Louis XIV. The death-bed dispatch 
shows the cold, unemotional precision one would expect 
from this past-master of corruption, whom Louis sent 
to supersede Courtin, when the need of wholesale 
bribery arose. They exist in the Depot des Affaires 


Etrangeres at Paris, and many of them have been 
transcribed in Dalrymple's Memoirs. 

3. The Dispatches of Van Citters, the Dutch Am- 
bassador. These dispatches are far more concise than 
those of Barillon. They show the mind of a man 
who has the knack of selecting the points of essential 
importance, which in those of Barillon are often almost 
buried in a mass of detail. These dispatches are pre- 
served in the Dutch Archives at the Hague, but some 
of them are also included in the Mackintosh Collection 
at the British Museum. 

4. Hudleston's Account, still extant in print in a work 
entitled: 'A Short and Plain Way to the Faith and 
Church : composed many years since by that eminent 
Divine Mr. Richard Hudleston of the English Congre- 
gation of the Order of St. Benedict ; and now published 
for the common good by his nephew Mr. Jo. Hudleston 
of the same Congregation. To which is annexed his 
late Majesty King Charles the Second his Papers found 
in his Closet after his decease. As also a Brief Account 
of What Occurred On His Death Bed In Regard to 
Religion. Permissu Superiorum. London. 1688. 

This Tract was published under the patronage, and 
it is believed by request, of King James, and is dedicated 
to the Dowager Queen Catherine. In the dedication, 
Hudleston says that he had been one of Catherine's 
priests from the time of her accession : and that 
King Charles first saw the above-named book by 
Richard Hudleston, when he was hiding at Moseley 
during his flight after the battle of Worcester. John 
Hudleston claims that the reading of this book was 
instrumental in bringing about Charles's conversion to 
Romanism. For this reason it was published along 
with the account of the Death-bed Ceremony, and with 


the two papers found in Charles's strong-box or closet 
after his death, which are held to breathe the same 
spiritual subservience. 

Hudleston's Death-bed Account has the genuine ring 
of truth. Whenever the circumstances of the secret 
ceremony permit confirmation of details, they are con- 
firmed by the accounts of other eyewitnesses. Barillon 
says that Hudleston had to be instructed what to do 
and say, parce que de lui-meme ce n'etoit pas un grand 
docteur. This, taken with Mary of Modena's description 
of him to the nuns of Chaillot as un homme simple, has 
generally been taken as implying that he was illiterate. 
Probably it means no more than that he did not fall 
naturally into the delicate and important part cast upon 
him at a moment's notice, for Mary adds : ' il eut etc 
a souhaiter dans une occasion si importante qu'on eut 
trouve un sujet plus habile, pour aider ce grand Prince 
a faire une bonne mort.' An illiterate priest would 
hardly have been selected as tutor to Sir John Preston 
and the nephews of Mr. Whitgrave of Moseley. 

From the Stuart Papers we learn that Hudleston had 
attested his account on or before April 8, 1686. 

5. The manuscript account by Sir Charles Scarburgh, 
first physician to King Charles II. The MS. may now 
be seen in the library of the Society of Antiquaries at 
Burlington House : it is here transcribed and translated, 
and reproduced at the end of this volume. On the whole, 
it is a creditable piece of Latin prose for a busy physician 
of 70 years, as became an age when medicine was not 
yet divorced from a study of the arts. It will be obvious 
to the most casual reader that the account is not 
intended to be a complete description of the last illness. 
Symptoms are mentioned only incidentally, while the 
means and aims of treatment are discussed in the fullest 
detail. There can be little room for doubt that it was 


written to refute the idle rumours of poisoning current 
at the time. It establishes beyond question the unanimity 
of the physicians, and forms an interesting commentary 
on Burnet's graphic picture of their disagreements. It 
shows that those -who directed the treatment had no 
suspicion of poison in their minds. It states categorically 
that at the autopsy nothing abnormal was found in 
the abdomen. From this we may infer, either that the 
stomach and intestines were examined, and found to be 
normal ; or that, so far was there from being at the time 
any suspicion of poison and the collateral literature 
shows this to have been the case that they were not 
even specially inspected. 

The stress laid on the scene of affectionate farewell 
between James and Charles is manifestly designed to 
convey that James in any case was above suspicion. 

From the internal evidence of the MS. it is certain 
that the account was written at a date when details 
of time were no longer fresh in the writer's memory. 
For example, a portion of the treatment carried out on 
Thursday is ascribed to Friday. The natural pre- 
sumption is that the MS. was compiled from Scarburgh's 
personal notebook, probably at the request of James, 
to whom also he was personal physician. Stress of 
work and the strain of a five nights' vigil may well 
have delayed the writing of the daily notes : hence the 

6. Passages from the diary and letters of Philip, 
second Earl of Chesterfield. In his MS. he aptly de- 
scribes them as ' Some short Notes for my remembrance 
of things and accidents, as they yearly happened to mee '. 
But for a few trifling inaccuracies of day and hour, 
he is confirmed in all material points by the accounts 
of the other eyewitnesses. His duties compelled him 
during the illness to turn night into day, with the familiar 


consequence of a confused impression of the passage 
of time. He refers to one of his letters as being written 
in ' such a confusion of mind, that I hardly knew then, 
or doe now remember what I writ '. 

7. An anonymous letter to the Rev. Francis Roper, 
Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. It is included 
in Ellis's Original Letters. The internal evidence 
shows it to have been written on the day following 
King Charles's death by one of the chaplains of 
Dr. Turner, Bishop of Ely, who was present when the 
King died. It is not without interest to note that this 
year Tillotson, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, 
was one of the chaplains to the Bishop of Ely. 
The letter now preserved in the British Museum is 
only a copy of the original, so that the handwriting 
affords no clue. It is the letter of a man with a keenly 
impressionable mind, possessed also of the power of 
expressing his thoughts in language of singular charm 
and simplicity. 

8. The Life of James the Second, compiled, probably 
in the first few years of the eighteenth century, from 
the lost memoirs in his own handwriting. The narrative 
of Charles's death-bed is almost verbally identical with 
two extant Stuart Papers, the property of the present 
King, in James's own handwriting. Whoever compiled 
the Life, as edited by Clarke, had seen either these 
papers or duplicates of them. In most points, in which 
religious controversy is not involved, James is in agree- 
ment with the other eyewitnesses. To appreciate the 
extent to which his mind was warped by religious 
bigotry, it is instructive to read the account written 
down in the Memoirs side by side with the account 
recited by James and Queen Mary to the nuns of 
Chaillot. The latter reeks of self-righteousness, and 
the divergences in the two accounts show up clearly 


James's propensity for accommodating himself to the 
religious requirements of the moment. Were this but 
an isolated instance, one might be disposed to attribute 
some of the discrepancies to a liberal subediting by 
the nuns of Chaillot. But it must be remembered that 
Mary was actually resident in the convent at the time 
of James's visit, so that it is at least probable that the 
nuns would have submitted the account to her for 
confirmation and approval, after it had been committed 
to writing. In the Memoirs, James lets us see him in 
the relatively healthy role of religious intolerance, 
characteristic of the retired naval officer of flag rank. 

Such are the various accounts that eyewitnesses 
have left behind. Not one of them, however, is superior 
to, and few can rank side by side with, the account given 
by Evelyn in his Diary. On all details, even those of 
purely medical interest, he is abundantly confirmed 
by the evidence of eyewitnesses, while here and there 
he serves to elucidate their obscurities. His narrative 
stands as a perpetual reproach to such men as Burnet 
and Welwood, who with the same opportunities as 
Evelyn for unravelling the truth have failed signally 
to discriminate between fact and fiction. The eighteenth 
century was probably unjust in dubbing Burnet a liar 
and an impostor, but in the milder phraseology of the 
twentieth century one cannot but express regret that 
personal prejudice and religious rancour should have 
so blinded his eyes as to make them incapable of 
discerning the truth. Throughout, his story is in such 
open conflict with that of the eyewitnesses that one 
is compelled regretfully to consign the whole to the 
scrap-heap of historical romance. By some curious 
caprice modern historians have drawn their material 
largely from his account and that of Welwood. 
James Welwood was a physician, apparently of no 


special distinction, unless it be accounted such that he 
was chosen as physician to Mary, the wife of William III. 
His Memoirs were written at the request of Queen Mary, 
from whom he extracted a promise that no one should 
see the MS. but herself. It was found in her cabinet 
at her death, and published at the request of King 
William in 1699. He would have his reader choose 
between apoplexy and poison, between them and them 
only. If it were not apoplexy, and he is on firm enough 
ground in discrediting this belief, then he argues there 
is at least a prima facie case for poison. In considering 
the pros and cons, he affects to hold the scales impar- 
tially. As a fact, his arguments in support of the 
theory of poison are mere fabrications, based on the idle 
tittle-tattle of the day : as medical science, most of his 
statements are grotesque. If there be any value in his 
narrative it is to be found in its involuntary admissions. 
He allows that King Charles himself expressed no 
suspicion of being poisoned throughout the whole 
course of his illness : and he admits ' that there was 
not anything to be seen upon opening his body, that 
could reasonably be attributed to the force of poison ', 
but with this reservation, that it ' must be acknowledged, 
that there are poisons which affect originally the animal 
spirits, and are of so subtle a nature, that they leave no 
concluding marks upon the bodies of those they kill '. 
There is no getting to close grips with reasoning of 
this kind. 

From these accounts, along with numerous scattered 
details in contemporary literature, there is little difficulty 
in piecing together the true picture of King Charles's 
fatal illness. One may assert, with considerable con- 
fidence, that his death was due to chronic granular 
kidney (a form of Bright's disease) with uraemic convul- 
sions, a disease that claims the highest proportion of 


its victims during the fifth and sixth decades of life. 
From boyhood Charles had lived hard: the physical 
strain and the mental stress, that leave their mark on 
the blood-vessels and through them on the kidney, he 
had known in full measure. Numerous allusions up 
and down the literature of the time indicate that he was 
a habitually large eater, and mainly of albuminous food. 
Alcohol he had taken freely, at times to gross excess : 
he had been the slave of sexual passion. Gout had 
come on him in his later years. We know from the 
testimony of Ailesbury, of Buckingham, of North, of 
Fountainhall, and of others, that at length his excesses 
had combined to destroy the natural vigour of his 
constitution. During the last few months preceding 
his death a prolonged attack of gout had prevented his 
daily exercise, and depressed his buoyant spirits. Amid 
these evidences of failing health, the last scene was 
ushered in by an attack of convulsions, 1 so severe as to 
threaten immediate dissolution. Of the nature of these 
convulsions there can be no reasonable doubt. After 
a restless night, he arose pale and ill: his mind was 
dazed : he could speak, but halted constantly, as though 
he had forgotten what he wished to say. He went 
mechanically, as in a stupor, through the preliminaries 
of his daily toilet : all at once the convulsions were upon 
him. For all but two hours he remained speechless, 
but his senses never completely left him. Rapid relief 
followed the initial bleeding. But from the first there 
was a threatening of recurrence. The fatal misuse of 
Cantharides, to excite extensive blistering, must have 
done much to rob the kidneys of the last vestige of 
functional activity. 2 On Wednesday afternoon the skin 

1 ' Convulsivi motus ' Scarburgh. 

2 Macaulay assigns to the medical profession an undue share of 


broke into a cold, clammy sweat : this was the beginning 
of the end. The relapse was marked by a recurrence 
of convulsions. By noon on Thursday his state was 
desperate. About four o'clock a further and more 
violent attack of convulsions seized him. He was 
speechless in the fits, but in the intervals conscious 
to the full. In the evening he joined in prayer with 
the bishops, and received the sacrament from Hudleston 
of his own choice. Throughout Thursday night his 
mind was clear and composed : with death slowly 
stealing on him he spoke often and tenderly to those 
around him. At six o'clock on Friday morning, with 
infinite pathos, the dying monarch asked to see for the 
last time the light of the rising sun : 

.... but let me be, 
While all around in silence lies, 
Moved to the window near, and see 
Once more, before my dying eyes, 

Bathed in the sacred dews of morn 
The wide aerial landscape spread 
The world which was ere I was born, 
The world which lasts when I am dead. 

At seven o'clock he was seized with urgent breathless- 
ness, with rhythmic variations of waxing and waning. 
He was bled, but at half -past eight his speech began 
to fail. At ten o'clock he lay unconscious and dying. 
Shortly before noon he expired quietly, without any 
renewal of convulsions. 

At the autopsy, performed the following day, the 
physicians were struck by the oedematous state of 
the brain, and the large amount of serous fluid in 
the ventricles, conditions associated later by Traube and 

the credit of laying the Stuart dynasty by the heels. The illness 
would normally have terminated fatally. 


others with uraemic convulsions, variously as cause 
and effect. The characteristic hypertrophy of the heart 
was found, but recorded in simple terms as ' large and 
firm '. No special mention is made of the kidney, but 
that, like the other abdominal organs, it was full of blood : 
presumably the morbid changes, as is not infrequently 
the case, had not produced a degree of contraction 
sufficient to arrest attention at a glance. 

It is hard to see how medical knowledge, as it was 
at this period, could afford a fuller description than 
this of ' gouty kidney with uraemia '. 

It is instructive to consider how the belief that the 
death was due to apoplexy has arisen. Scarburgh 
speaks only of ' convulsions '. Even the lay mind of 
Chesterfield, who was in close attendance day and night, 
commits itself cautiously to the diagnosis of ' something 
like an apoplexie'. In 1685 there was no limitation 
of the term as now to rupture or occlusion of a cerebral 
artery. Wepfer, of Schaffhausen, in 1658 had demon- 
strated the relation, but it was not yet accepted generally 
by English physicians, if at all. Burnet seems to have 
a vague notion of the relationship when he says that 
' so many of the small veins of the brain were burst, 
that the brain was in great disorder and no judgement 
could be made concerning it '. The term apoplexy at 
this time possessed a very wide connotation. It em- 
braced air sudden seizures of convulsive or paralytic 
type, with or without loss of consciousness : a century 
later the term was still employed generically to cover 
epilepsy, hysterical fits, infantile convulsions, and other 
states, as well as haemorrhage from a ruptured cerebral 
artery. It was legitimate then to speak of uraemic con- 
vulsions as apoplexy, but has long since ceased to be. 

1 Fit ' was, like apoplexy, at this time a word of equi- 
vocal meaning. It has led to a curious mistake on the 


part of Ailesbury. He asserts, in common with Welwood, 
that Charles had previously suffered from fits, and gives 
the date of the first fit as about Bartholomew tide, 1679. 
This was the well-known occasion on which James 
returned hurriedly from abroad to Windsor. The 
following letters from Sidney's Diary clear up the point. 


Windsor, Aug. 29, 1679. 
Honoured Sir, 

The last account I gave you from hence was upon 
Tuesday: that night the King was taken ill with a fit, 
but much more moderately than upon Friday and 
Sunday night: since that he has had not the least 
appearance of one : so that the physicians are of opinion 
he will have no more of it. . . . 


Windsor, Sept. 2, 1679. 

It is now almost a week since the King has had any 
appearance of an ague; and you may guess, by the 
method he takes, he will soon recover his strength as 
well as his health, having exchanged water-gruels and 
potions for mutton and partridges, on which he feeds 
frequently and heartily. . . . Yesterday morning, 
the Duke of York arrived at Dover, and this morning 
he came hither, but very slenderly attended, who 
immediately went to wait upon the King. 


Sheen, Aug. 29. 

. . I will tell you, because I am just now come 
from Windsor, that he [the King] was to-day much 
better than I expected to find him, after having passed 
a very ill day on Wednesday : though I had given the 
Prince of Orange an account of his health the night 


before, with good hopes of the worst being over, and 
will now be confident it is, since all the physicians are 
so, and he has missed his fit both yesterday and 
to-day. . . . 


Sept. 2, 1679. 

I writ to you as soon as my little brains were settled 
by hearing the King was much mended, and, thanks be 
to God, does yet continue : but I have the less comfort 
in it because his fits were put off, like mine, by the 
Jesuit's powder [quinine, then as now a specific for 
malaria], and it was as necessary to give it to him as to 
me, for he was with two fits weaker than I was with 
more. ... I believe yet there is scarcely anybody 
beyond Temple Bar that believes his distemper pro- 
ceeded from anything but poison, though as little like 
it as if he had fallen from a horse. 

True then, as Ailesbury and Welwood assert, Charles 
had previously suffered from ' fits ', but the fits were fits 
of ague. 

One hundred and fifty years later, Sir Henry Halford 
at the College of Physicians, from the serene seclusion 
of the presidential chair, finally stereotyped on history 
the error that had arisen from a confusion of terms, by 
supplying the premisses necessary to support the wrong 
conclusion. He pronounced the death to be a fair 
specimen of apoplexy, and expressed surprise that 
Burnet should attribute the King's indifference to all 
religious exhortations to anything but insensibility from 
disease. ' The King was incapable of discriminating 
altogether under the circumstances. Every faculty of 
his mind was gone. If he were a Protestant therefore, 
before he was taken ill, he died a Protestant. If he had 

w - 


already renounced the religion of his father, he died 
a Roman Catholic/ In proof of his dictum, Sir Henry 
called attention to the obvious signs of paralysis in the 
effigy of King Charles in Westminster Abbey. 

The appended narrative of the death-bed scene, 
attested by a number of eyewitnesses, whose credibility 
is put beyond question by their general agreement as 
to the circumstances, disposes at once of the assertion 
that 'every faculty of his mind was gone'. If the 
narrative be reliable, then there can be no question as 
to the truth of the death-bed conversion to Romanism. 1 

If any one familiar with the appearance of recent 
facial palsy, as it is seen in life, will study carefully the 
mask of the Westminster effigy (see illustration), he will 
see at once that the asymmetry of the face has no 
resemblance to that due to paralysis. It must be 
remembered too that the facial paralysis due to rupture 
of a cerebral vessel is an incomplete and ill-marked 
condition. As an isolated paralysis, without associated 
paralysis of the arm or leg of the same side, it is also of 
exceedingly rare occurrence. Yet we know that his 
speech was not paralysed, and that his hands were not 
paralysed negative evidence of the utmost importance. 
To this we would add that the muscular relaxation of 

1 I have deliberately written death-bed conversion to Romanism, 
not profession of Romanism. Charles's leaning to Catholicism was 
an inevitable consequence of his character and of his circumstances : 
dour Protestantism stank in his nostrils : the Covenanters' heaven 
had no attraction for him. He had, on occasion, been present at 
Mass during his exile. He had in 1670 definitely pledged himself 
to Catholicism --a pledge the sincerity of which may be gauged by 
perusing the dispatches of Colbert. Had there been any formal 
reconciliation to the Church of Rome, James or the Duchess of 
Portsmouth would assuredly have known it. With the question- 
able exception of Hudleston, all the Catholic accounts regard it as 
a death-bed conversion, though many claim that in his heart he had 
long espoused their creed. His life did little credit to any creed. 

B 2 


death effaces almost beyond detection such traces 
of paralysis as may have been present in life. 

The portraits of King Charles (see frontispiece) all 
show well-defined naso-labial ridges, symmetrically 
placed. The mask shows the same well-defined folds, 
but they are asymmetrical : the left is on a plane below 
the level of the right. There is no obliteration of the 
one, no exaggeration of the other, merely displacement 
of the left : this displacement is part and parcel of 
a deep conical fosse in the centre of the left cheek. 
It is difficult to resist the conclusion that this was 
produced by the pressure used in taking the cast from 
the face after death. In all likelihood the cast was 
taken after the autopsy had been performed. As the 
brain was examined the scalp must have been reflected, 
and this may afford a further explanation of the displace- 
ment of the tissues of the face. The fosse may indicate 
the loss of the underlying teeth in the upper jaw. 

Further, it is unreasonable to assume that obvious 
paralysis of the face was present in life, and yet was 
not mentioned by any of the onlookers, who have so 
minutely described what they saw. 

So much for the theory of apoplexy. We have already 
seen that the grounds for suspicion of poison were even 
more slender. There was no suspicion of poison before 
death, and none at the time of the autopsy. It must 
be remembered that the deaths of those in high places 
were at this time not infrequently ascribed to poison, 
especially if the actual cause were not apparent. James I 
had been accused of poisoning Prince Henry, though 
he really died of typhoid fever. Charles I had been 
accused of poisoning James I, Cromwell of poisoning 
Princess Elizabeth. It needed only the comparative 
obscurity of the funeral to set the rumour going. 

It lay with James to decide the character of the 


funeral. James's conduct was habitually determined by 
one of two ruling passions, self-righteousness and par- 
simony. If he allowed the King, who had covertly 
died a papist, to be openly buried with the full rites 
of the English Church, he would have lost caste with 
the papists. Again, if the funeral had been conducted 
coram publico and by day, the expense would have been 
necessarily great. Fountainhall says that it was felt 
it must in that case outshine Cromwell's funeral in 
splendour. Cromwell's funeral cost ^"60,000. What 
would seem to be collateral evidence of the strength 
of this feeling is to be found in the sum voted by 
Parliament in January, 1678, for a solemn interment 
and monument of Charles I. The sum voted, and paid 
to his son Charles, was ^"70,000. The designs by Wren 
for a mausoleum and tomb are still in existence, on 
paper, but not in stone. Stuart remembrance was 
short enough for the living : it gave still shorter shrift 
to the dead. 


[References to authors are given only when the passage or its 
context is of special importance : they do not indicate exclusive 

THE last illness of Charles II set in with tragic 

suddenness : of the day preceding it we catch some 

passing glimpses. It was a Sunday, and a sore on his 

Ailes- heel, that had troubled him for some little time, robbed 

>urv< him of his customary walk. He had been for years an 

indefatigable walker. In London or out, unless the 

Ailes- weather kept him within doors, he was accustomed 

AnSony to ta ^ e two Dr isk walks a day. He walked mostly in 

Wood, St. James's Park, where, followed by his spaniels, he 

delighted in taking food to the ducks: sometimes he 

Wei- walked in the adjoining Arlington Gardens. Tall beyond 

Burnet avera g e height, and in his later years of spare, wiry 

build, he would at times stride along so fast that it was 

difficult to keep pace with him. Like many another of 

strong physique and active habits, gout claimed him 

as a victim. A long, tedious attack had kept him much 

Anthony indoors during the few months preceding his death, 

Wood. k ut k v t j le enc j Q f j anuarv h e was believed to be pretty 

well quit of it for the time : but this and other causes 
seemed latterly to have markedly impaired the natural 
Fountain- vigour of his constitution. On this last Sunday, instead 
of walkin g> ne had taken tn e air in a caleche, with 
Ailesbury in attendance. Ailesbury's last week of 
waiting had commenced on January 26, Monday the 
usual day and in the normal course of things should 
have expired on the following Monday, February 2. 


On this Sunday evening, his father, who of late years Ailes- 
had but seldom attended at Court, joined the supper bur y 
levee : the King received him with marked friendliness, 
rallying him genially on his scant attendance, and 
graciously offered to keep his son with him at Court 
so long as he lived. At supper the King 'did eat 
with an excellent stomach and one thing very hard of 
digestion a goose egg, if not two'. The King's 
appetite had always been hearty: in the days of his 
exile it had cost him the hand of Mademoiselle de 
Montpensier ; but accustomed as she was to Bourbon 
voracity, maybe the empty purse repelled her at least 
as much as the full stomach. Pepys depicts him on 
the day of his Restoration, toying with pease-pudding 
and pork and boiled beef aboard ship, with the crown 
awaiting him ashore. He had been, too, a free drinker 
and figured now and again in drunken orgies, but in 
his later years, from necessity or from choice, he had 
eschewed excess. After supper the King repaired, as 
usual, to the apartments of the Duchess of Portsmouth 
' to amuse himself with the company that ate there '. 
Of these splendid apartments in Whitehall, furnished 
luxuriously and with ten times greater wealth and 
magnificence than those of Queen Catherine, Evelyn Evelyn, 
has given us a faithful picture. These apartments, 
thrice pulled down and thrice rebuilt to gratify her 
prodigal and sumptuous fancy, presented a sufficient 
contrast to the homely apartments of the Queen, which 
in their accommodation and furniture were such as any 
lady of rank might have occupied. The walls were 
hung with tapestries of exquisite design and workman- 
ship, the finest product of French handicraft : in them 
were depicted the palaces of her liege-lord, Louis XIV, 
Versailles, Saint-Germain, and the rest, mingled with 
hunting scenes, landscapes, figures of men and women, 


and exotic birds. Choice cabinets of Japanese lacquer 
were laden with great vases of wrought gold and silver ; 
screens and clocks of priceless worth stood side by side 
with tables and stands of massive silver, while chimney 
furniture, sconces, branched candlesticks, and braziers 
were all fashioned in the same metal. On the walls 
also hung the spoils of the vanquished, 'some of 
Her Majesty's best paintings/ The saintly Evelyn has 
penned in a few lines a lurid picture of the scene that 

Evelyn, met his eyes on that fateful Sunday evening : * I can 
never forget the inexpressible luxury and profaneness, 
gaming and all manner of dissoluteness, and as it were 
total forgetfulness of God (it being Sunday evening) 
which this day se'nnight I was witness of, the King 
sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, 
Cleveland, and Mazarin, etc., a French boy singing 
love songs, in that glorious gallery, whilst about 20 
of the great courtiers and other dissolute persons were 
at Basset round a large table, a bank of at least 2000 in 
gold before them, upon which two gentlemen who were 
with me made reflections with astonishment. Six days 

Ailes- after all was in the dust/ Hither, his own supper 
ury> ended, came Ailesbury, Gentleman of the Bedchamber, 
to await his master's pleasure. The King was in the 
most charming humour imaginable, so that many re- 
marked that they had never seen him in brighter mood. 
It was Ailesbury's duty to light him to his bedchamber, 
whither he went at his usual hour. But amid all the 
glories of this feast of Belshazzar, the handwriting was 
already on the wall ! As Ailesbury handed the candle 
to the page of the backstairs, it went out, though it was 
a very large wax candle, and there was no draught. 
The page of the backstairs cast a superstitious glance 
at Ailesbury, and shook his head. In his bedchamber 
Charles undressed himself, put on his nightgown, and, 


as was his custom, went to ease himself. Here he 
lingered for some time, joining in merry banter and 
jesting, with Ailesbury holding the candle, and Killi- 
grew, who possessed an ever ready fund of buffoonery, 
holding the paper. Charles had not studied in vain the 
easy manners of the Court of Versailles ! Among much 
else Ailesbury asked the King to use his influence to 
procure for a near relative some post he coveted, and 
this Charles immediately granted. Gradually the con- 
versation shifted to the subject of the palace the King 
was building at Winchester, in the belief that the air 
would suit his health better than that of Windsor, and R. North. 
Ailesbury records his ominous words, ' I shall be most 
happy this week, for my building will be covered with Ailes- 
lead.' In less than seven days his dead body lay in its ury ' 
leaden shell. 

As gentleman and groom respectively of the bed- 
chamber, Ailesbury and Killigrew shared the King's 
room at nights. They undressed themselves in an 
adjacent room, and were then lighted by the page of 
the backstairs to the royal bed-chamber. As soon as 
the page had retired, they shut up the door on the 
inside with a brass knob, and went to bed, but not 
always, alas ! to sleep. The large open grate was 
filled with Scotch coal, that kept alight all night: in 
the bright firelight a dozen spaniels wandered rest- 
lessly from bed to bed : an array of pendulum clocks 
chimed the quarters, and, each observing its own 
peculiar times and seasons, kept the night alive with 
unceasing discord. The King, inured to this babel 
of noise, slept soundly : not so Ailesbury ; in his 
broken slumber he heard the King turn himself about 
from time to time : as a rule he slept the sleep that 
tosses not, nor turns. On waking, Charles called, as 
was his wont, to his attendant gentlemen, who noticed 


no strangeness in his voice. While they slept on, 
Charles rose from bed and passed from his bed- 
chamber to his private closet. Here Robert Howard, 
a groom of the bedchamber, met him looking pale 
as ashes and ghastly, and unable or unwilling to say 
a single word. Meantime Ailesbury had risen and 
opened the door, so that the servants might come and 
attend to the fire, and then passed out to his own 
dressing-room. In the room next the bedchamber 
he saw ' the physicians and surgeons ' waiting to 
dress the King's heel, and here Robert Howard 
accosted him with an inquiry as to how the King 
had slept, and described the sight he had just seen. 
Upon this Ailesbury at once fetched the notorious 
Chiffins, first page of the backstairs and keeper of 
the closet, and sent him to beg the King to return 
to his bedchamber, as the morning was bitter, and 
he in his nightgown only. Chiffins went instantly in 
search of the King, but finding he paid no heed to what 
he said returned and told Ailesbury, who urged him to 
make a second attempt, as etiquette forbade any one else 
to enter the private closet. This time the King returned 
to the bedchamber with his face pale as death. The 
Earl of Craven, colonel of the footguards, was there, 
waiting to receive from the King the pass-word for the 
day: he handed him the paper on which the days of 
the month and the pass-words were written down, 
but the King was speechless. Others who were now 
present spoke to him, but the King either was silent, or 
stopped in the middle of speaking, as if he had forgotten 
Chester- what he intended to say. At last the King became 
sensible of his own condition, and ordered 1 the company 

1 I have been driven to this inference by the force of the circum- 
stantial evidence. It is irrational to assume that all the physicians 
and surgeons, except Edmund King, would have left him, when 


Who 'blooded the King' 

From a portrait in the Royal College of Physicians 

p. 26 


to withdraw, leaving only Ailesbury, Edmund King, 1 
physician and quondam surgeon, and the barber, who 
attended daily to shave the King. During his shaving Ailes- 
he always sat ' with his knees against the window '. bury ' 
The barber had just fixed the linen on one side and was 
passing behind the chair to fix it on the other, when North's 
the King fell back with a cry into the arms of Ailesbury, Examen - 
who was standing close beside him. The hour was then 
eight o'clock precisely, and Monday morning. The Scar- 
violence of the convulsions is attested by Scarburgh, ^sf 
and is also duly recorded in the official announcement 
of the Privy Council, who met about twelve o'clock Van 
noon in the antechamber of the sick-room, and were in Cltters - 
almost constant session throughout the illness, com- 
municating frequently with the physicians in attendance. Examen. 
Of the characteristic features of the convulsions no 
trustworthy record survives, and it is instructive to 
note generally that the more minute the description 
the further removed was the writer from the scene 
described. Prompt treatment was at hand. King, who 
had been a surgeon, seems to have hesitated, and well 
he might, for it was the law that no one should bleed Chaillot 


the King without the consent of his chief ministers, and 
the penalty of disobedience was death. In a hurried 
consultation, in which King alleged that His Majesty 
would die if he were not bled, Ailesbury seems to have Ailes- 
taken the initiative, and asking King if he had his y ' 

they saw his condition, except under compulsion. The company 
too would have stayed for curiosity, if for no other motive, and we 
know that they did not. 

1 This portrait of Sir Edmund King, 'who blooded the King,' 
is in the Royal College of Physicians in London. It was 
painted by Lely, and engraved by Williams. At the foot of the 
latter, King is described as the person ' qui praesenti animo 
(ope divina) sereniss: regem Car II a morte subitanea dexterrime 
eripuit Februarii 2, 1684.' 


lancet with him, and, receiving an affirmative reply, 
Scar- instructed him forthwith to bleed the King. The 
^| gh bleeding was subsequently approved by the whole 
body of physicians in consultation, and the Privy 
Ailes- Council voted a sum of 1,000 to King, which was 
bury. never paid, James finding a knighthood a more conve- 
nient method of discharging the debt. Sixteen ounces 
of blood were removed from a vein in his right arm with 
Scar- immediate good effect. As was the approved practice 
MS gh at this time, the King was allowed to remain in the 
Chaillot chair in which the convulsions seized him; his teeth 
MS - were held forcibly open to prevent him biting his tongue ; 
the regimen was, as Roger North pithily describes it, 
'first to get him to wake, and then to keep him from 
sleeping/ Urgent messages had been dispatched to 
the King's numerous personal physicians, who quickly 
came flocking to his assistance : they were summoned 
Dugdale. regardless of distinctions of creed and politics, and they 
came. They ordered cupping-glasses to be applied to 
S car . his shoulders forthwith, and deep scarification to be 
burgh carried out, by which they succeeded in removing 
Sca r_ another eight ounces of blood. A strong antimonial 
burgh emetic was administered, but as the King could be got 
to swallow only a small portion of it, they determined to 
render assurance doubly sure by a full dose of Sulphate 
of Zinc. Strong purgatives were given, and supple- 
mented by a succession of clysters. The hair was 
shorn close and pungent blistering agents applied all 
over his head ; and as though this were not enough, 
Chaillot ^e red-hot cautery was requisitioned as well. So 
MS - severe were the convulsions that the physicians at first 
despaired of his life, but in some two hours conscious- 
Chester- ness was completely restored. As soon as tidings of 
field. ^e King's seizure reached Catherine, she hurried from 
her apartments to his bedside. The spectacle of her 


stricken husband so overwhelmed her with emotion 
that she gave way to an outburst of hysterical grief. 
Charles had spoken her name and asked for her as Letter to 
soon as speech and sense returned to him, but her R P er - 
anguish robbed her of the power of words, and she 
withdrew to her own apartments. 

As soon as the first bleeding was over, Ailesbury had Ailes- 
gone in hot haste to St. James's Palace to summon the bury< 
Duke of York, who came so instantly that he arrived 
with one slipper and one shoe. The Duchess followed 
close on his footsteps, to find the Lord Keeper Guildford Chaillot 
and the Earl of Bath, first Gentleman of the Bed- MS> 
chamber, already there. The King was now moved 
from the chair to his bed, where the Duke of York 
had hurried to his side. Seeing Ailesbury, the King Ailes- 
grasped his hand with the words, ' I see you love me ury ' 
dying as well as living/ and thanked him for inducing 
Edmund King to bleed him, and also for having sent 
Chiffins to bring him from his private closet. His 
Majesty then told his own tale. He felt unwell on 
rising from bed, and went to his closet to get some 
of the famous ' King's Drops ' : these were a volatile 
extract of bone, made up in the King's own laboratory 
after a formula devised by Dr. Jonathan Goddard, in 
high repute on the Continent, and commended by no 
less an authority than Sydenham. There he walked 
about, hoping to get better, but at Ailesbury's repeated 
request he came out of his closet, and down the three or 
four stairs leading from the closet to the bedchamber ; 
here he was attacked with giddiness and nearly fell. 

By this time the King was l in a pretty good state ', Letter to 
which Chesterfield ascribes to the joint agency of the Ormond ' 
medical remedies and the blessing of God, so that the 
physicians were able to pronounce him out of danger 
for the present. 


Letter to As soon as the news of the King's precarious state 
an ' spread to the town, genuine sorrow was manifest on 

Van every face, and, fear inspiring belief, rumours of his 

Dugdaie death were r ^ e : m tne hearts of his subjects, and not 
least in the hearts of the humblest of them, his easy 
bonhomie more than atoned for the multitude of his sins. 

Van At Whitehall the gates had been closed from the first 

TS ' to all but members of the Court, and those to whom 
James granted the special right of entry. Horse-guards 
and foot-guards were posted everywhere about White- 
hall : sentries were doubled and redoubled, and orders 
sent to all the chief ports to prevent the dispatch of 
messages to the Duke of Monmouth or the Prince 
of Orange, or to their sympathizers. Barillon received 
special permission to send one letter to Louis. Orders 
were also sent to the Lords Lieutenant of the Counties 
to take steps to guard against any rising, should the 
worst occur. 

In the afternoon the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and 
Lieutenants of the City of London sent to inquire of 
the King's state, carrying also to the Duke a loyal 
assurance of support in case of disturbance. The 

Barillon. message gave great satisfaction to James. 

In the course of the afternoon it became known that 

Ailes- the illness had taken a favourable turn, and in their 

bury * joy the whole town sang the praises of the men who 
by their promptitude in bleeding him had been the 
instruments, under Providence, of saving the King's life. 

y an The Duke was able to announce to the foreign ministers 

Citters. that the King was now out of danger. 

Scar- In the evening of Monday the King's physicians 

burgh a g ain met in consultation, and with a view to relieving 
the pressure of ' the humours ' on his brain they ad- 
ministered remedies to promote sneezing, along with 
additional aperients. Noxious plasters were applied to 


the soles of his feet. A preparation of cowslip flowers 
and spirit of Sal Ammoniac was designed to stimulate 
and to strengthen the brain by the combined action 
of the remedies. Soothing draughts were prescribed 
to allay thirst and to stave off the scalding of the urine, 
which they were aware must inevitably result from the 
freedom with which they had made use of the blistering 
properties of Cantharides. Nourishment was ordered 
in the form of light broth and of ale made without 
hops; and with this, therapeutic creativeness rested 
from its labours on the first day. 

Early on Tuesday morning another consultation was 
held, at which no less than twelve physicians were 
present. The success of their remedies seemed to 
warrant them in pursuing treatment on the same lines 
as they had already adopted. The King complained 
of pain in the throat, and on examination a superficial 
excoriation probably a result of the efforts made to chaillot 
separate his teeth forcibly during the convulsionswas MS. 
discerned, which was treated with an astringent and burgh 
soothing gargle. MS. 

The symptoms still seemed to indicate the likelihood Evelyn, 
of a recurrence of convulsions, and to guard against Scar- 
this the physicians prescribed an anti-spasmodic julep MS? 
of Black Cherry Water, and other ingredients, which 
at that time were highly esteemed in the treatment of Allen's 
convulsive disorders. At the same time his jugular ync 
veins were mulcted in a further ten ounces of blood. 

The King's condition was by this time so far re- Ailes- 
assuring that messengers were sent on Tuesday into ury ' 
every county to carry the happy news. To the Duke 
it seemed imperative to allay at once all turbulent 
aspirations that might else arise : for in spite of the 
hopeful tidings, we find the Bishop of Ely staying Letter to 
at the King's side throughout Tuesday night. So Roper. 


matters continued on the whole favourably until 

Scar- At their morning consultation the physicians were so 

W ell pleased with their treatment, that they contented 
themselves with a single modification of their reme- 
diesa state of therapeutic inactivity most uncommon 
in those days. At the afternoon consultation there were 
already signs that all was not well : fresh remedies 
were introduced to support the strength and to combat 
exhaustion. In the evening His Majesty broke into 
a cold sweat, and the physicians again declared that 
his condition was dangerous. Fresh convulsions ac- 
bur y- companied the relapse. Spirit of Human Skull was 
CJtters. forthwith administered, a sure harbinger of impending 


Luttrell. Every night a posse of physicians, six in all, had 
watched by the King, but voluntary helpers augmented 
Chester- this number, once even to fourteen. The Privy Council 
Diary a ^ so deputed Chesterfield and two other of their number 
R. North, to join the night vigil : while the Lord Keeper North 
graph* was a ^ most constantly there in close touch with the 
Examen. physicians. Lord North ill concealed his impatience 
of the physicians, who prudently possessed their pro- 
phetic souls in silence. To his demand for infallibility 
they replied by vague talk of symptoms, and the means 
by which they hoped to combat them. He petulantly 
asked why they entertained the Council with such 
discourses and avoided an opinion on the main issue. 
' Upon which, after the Spanish way in difficult cases, 
they did hazer il bove, that is, stared and said nothing ' 
a procedure which his lordship regarded as of sinister 

Scar- On Wednesday night, as they watched, the physicians 

were struck by the fact that each night the symptoms 
had undergone some exacerbation, and this periodicity 


seemed to indicate to them that they had an intermittent 
fever to deal with. The fact that some such inter- 
mittent fever, attended by convulsions at the outset, 
was, to the knowledge of some of them, prevalent 
at the time in town, lent colour to their suspicions. 
Accordingly, at the morning consultation on Thursday, 
they communicated their opinion to their colleagues, 
and a unanimous decision was arrived at to administer 
the vaunted febrifuge, Peruvian Bark, and to persist 
in its administration at appointed hours. Ferdinand Van 
Mendez, personal physician to Queen Catharine, at Cltters> 
first expressed some dissent, but his signature to the 
prescription testifies to his subsequent capitulation : 
both the King and the Queen supported him in his 

To-day the physicians were able to meet the Council Examen. 
with more hopeful faces. With manifest satisfaction 
they told the Council that they were of the firm opinion 
that the King had a fever. The announcement gave 
no relief to Lord North, who asked with pained amaze- 
ment, ' What they meant/ and ' Could anything be 
worse ? ' But one of the physicians answered, ' We now 
know what to do/ 'And what is that?' said North. 
' To give the Cortex/ answered the physician ; and so 
they did, but the recipient was already l nullis medicabilis 
herbis '. 

The London Gazette of Thursday morning, which had 
gone to press after the formal meeting of the Privy 
Council at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and before the illness 
assumed its gravest aspect, contained the following 
announcement : 

'At the Council Chamber, Whitehall, the 4 th of London 
February 1684 at five in the afternoon. Gazette, 

1 The Lords of His Majesty's most Honorable Privy Feb - 2 ~5 
Council have thought fit, for preventing false reports, 
to make known that His Majesty, upon Monday morning 


last, was seized with a violent fit, that gave great cause 
to fear the issue of it : but after some hours, an amend- 
ment appeared, which with the blessing of God being 
improyed by the application of proper and seasonable 
remedies, is now so advanced, that the physicians have 
this day as well as yesterday given this account to the 
Council, viz. That they conceive His Majesty to be in 
a condition of safety, and that he will in a few days be 
freed from his distemper. 


The happy news was forthwith acclaimed with joy : 
the church bells were rung, and preparations were made 
to light bonfires in the streets. Gradually the truth 
began to leak out, and joy was turned into anxious 

Examen. sorrow. Several times during the day report had it 
Barillon. that the King was dead> p rayers were sa i d j n a n t h e 

churches, and in the Court chapels, in which the chap- 
Evelyn, lains relieved one another every half quarter of an hour, 
from the time the King began to be in danger till his 
Van death. About four o'clock in the afternoon there was 
a fresh access of fever with a recurrence of convulsions, 
more violent than before : so much so that the doctors 
were plunged into despair, and the Bishops were sum- 
moned to the bedside. The Archbishop of Canterbury, 
the Bishops of London, Durham, and Ely, together with 
Bishop Ken, consecrated only a week before at Lambeth 
Chapel Bishop of Bath and Wells, came to administer 
spiritual consolation to the dying King. Ken 1 indeed 
Hawkins, had been with the King since Wednesday morning, 
and but for the short period of Hudleston's visit 
waited at the royal bedside without intermission for 

1 It was inevitable that Charles, the f prince among dissemblers ', 
should be drawn to the man who has left as a watchword to 
Wykehamists for all time, 'Let all thy converse be sincere/ 
A piquancy was added to the friendship by the* fact that Ken 
had refused lodging to Nell Gwynne, who had been quartered 
on his prebend's house during one of the King's visits to 


three whole days and nights, watching to suggest at 
proper intervals pious and appropriate thoughts, as 
befitted so serious an occasion. To the Archbishop 
and to the Bishop of London the King turned a deaf Burnet. 
ear: Ailesbury attributes the Archbishop's failure to his 
timid manner and low voice, Burnet that of the Bishop 
of London to his cold way of speaking and to the un- 
popularity of his rigid protestantism at Court. These Letter to 
Bishops, well knowing the King's liking for Ken, R P er - 
desired him to see if the King would listen to him : 
his voice was ' like to a nightingale for the sweetness of 
it'. Ken read the prayers for the sick appointed byAiles- 
the Common Prayer Book, and when he came to the bury * 
place where the sick person is exhorted to make con- James's 
fession of his sins he told the King that he was under Memotrs - 
no obligation to confess, and merely asked him if he 
was sorry for his sins. Charles said that he was sorry : 
thereupon Ken pronounced the absolution, and asked 
him 'if he pleased to receive the sacrament'. TheAiles- 
King at first made no answer, but as Ken earnestly bury< 
repeated his request the King thanked him, and answered Barillon. 
that there was time enough yet to consider that, and 
that he would think of it. 

For a while let us shift the scene. At noon tidings 
had reached the French ambassador, Barillon, that the 
physicians despaired of the King's life, and that they 
did not think he could live through the coming night. 
At once he betook himself to Whitehall, and to the 
antechamber of the King's bedroom, to which James 
had given orders that he should be admitted at any 
time. As soon as he arrived the Duke of York said 
to him, ' The physicians think the King is in very grave 
danger: I beg you will assure your master he will 
always find in me a loyal and grateful servant.' James 
had from the first remained almost unceasingly at his 

C 2 


brother's side: occasionally he came into the ante- 
chamber to give orders as to the state of affairs in 
town. Amid his overwhelming sorrow he found time 
and thought to devote to the exclusion of the Duke of 
Monmouth and the Prince of Orange, and to obtain the 
feeble signature of his dying brother to a lease of the 

Evelyn. Excise. This latter was at best a shady transaction, and 
though ' the major part of the Judges (but as some think 
not the best lawyers) pronounced it legal, four dissented '. 

Barillon. The Duke several times invited Barillon into the 
King's bedchamber, talked with him about the state of 
affairs in town, saying that he had received assurances 
of support from all sides, and that he would be pro- 
claimed king without any active opposition, as soon as 
Charles was dead. 

At five o'clock Barillon withdrew to the apartments 
of the Duchess of Portsmouth : he found her in the 
depths of anguish at the hopeless verdict of the 
physicians. Grief 1 and the immediate prospect of 

1 Macaulay thinks that the grief of the Duchess was not wholly 
selfish. It is difficult to believe this of a woman who had 
habitually sold the secrets of her lover to the King of the land 
of her birth. During the long years she spent in England her 
eyes were always set on Paris. A tabouret at the French Court 
was to her the be-all and end-all of existence. She well knew, as 
events were quick to prove, that, Charles dead, she could place no 
reliance on James: to the English nation she was the Scarlet 
Woman. Charles's conversion was a bold bid to gain the eternal 
gratitude of Louis. Barillon's dispatches unequivocally state her 
anxiety. She was accustomed to play at high stakes : she played 
now and won. Louis stood between her and her creditors for life. 

The Catholics resented the fact that Charles's conversion should 
have been effected by a notorious prostitute, and endeavoured to 
identify it with other names. The Somers Broadside makes 
P. M. a C. F. the moving spirit. In 1856 Macaulay hazarded the 
guess that these initials designated Pere Mansuete, a Cordelier 
Friar. He clearly did not know that in 1685 Anthony Wood 
had anticipated his solution. He had made a marginal note to 
an extant Somers Broadside, ' P. . . M. a Capuchin Fryer.' 


a great loss did not hinder her from drawing Barillon 
into her closet and saying : ' Mr. Ambassador, I am 
going to tell you the greatest secret in the world, and 
if it were known I should lose my head. At the bottom 
of his heart the King is a Catholic, but he is sur- 
rounded by Protestant bishops, and no one tells him of 
his situation, or speaks to him of God. I cannot any 
longer enter his room with decency : besides, the Queen 
is almost always there. The Duke of York's thoughts 
are taken up with his own affairs, and they are too 
important to allow him to take the care he should of 
the conscience of the King. Go and tell him that 
I have conjured you to remind him to think what can 
be done to save the King's soul : he is master of the 
King's room, and can make whomsoever he wishes 
withdraw. Lose no time, for if there be ever so little 
delay it will be too late ! ' 

Barillon returned instantly to the Duke of York. 
Queen Catherine had just quitted the King's bedside in 
a swoon, and the physicians had improved the occasion 
by bleeding her. The Duke had followed the fainting 
Queen to her apartments, which were in communica- 
tion with the King's room: here Barillon found him, 
and told him what the Duchess of Portsmouth had said. 
The Duke seemed as though roused from a dream. 
'You are right,' said he, 'there is no time to lose: 
I would rather risk everything than not do my duty 
on this occasion.' Barillon remained in the Queen's 
apartments, while James returned to the King. 

Soon after six o'clock, on a pretext of again visiting 
the Queen, James came back and told Barillon he had 
spoken to the King. He said that he had found him 
resolute against receiving the sacrament, which the 
Protestant Bishops were urging him to receive, to their 
exceeding surprise. Some of them, he said, were sure 


to remain continuously in the King's room, unless he 
could find some excuse to make every one withdraw, 
so that he might talk freely to the King his brother, 
and induce him to make a formal abjuration of heresy, 
and confess himself to a Catholic priest. 

The difficulty of effecting this without exciting suspi- 
cion was great. The Duke and Barillon laid their 
heads together to accomplish a project that commended 
itself equally to both of them, but for very different 
reasons. The first proposition, that the King's bed- 
chamber should be cleared of the company, on the 
pretext that the French ambassador had some private 
communication from Louis to Charles, came from 
James. Barillon was ready to consent, but pointed out 
that the sacerdotal seance must needs far exceed the 
time needed to convey a message, and would tend to 
excite suspicion. 

James next suggested that the Queen should be 
brought, as though to take a last farewell, and to ask 
pardon of her lord if she had ever disobeyed him ; and 
to prolong the time, James was ready to repeat the 
scene in his own person. Barillon had learnt in the 
school of experience that the fewer the accomplices 
the more successful the plot, so they agreed that the 
Duke should speak openly to his brother, but in so 
low a voice that no one should hear. They would then 
only imagine that the Duke was consulting the King 
on affairs of state, and ascertaining his wishes as to 
what he would have done in case of his death. 

Then the Duke and Barillon returned to the King's 
bedchamber, when the Duke, ordering the bystanders 
out of earshot, stooped down and whispered into the 
King's ear. Though Barillon was in the room he did 
not hear what the Duke said : still less the company, 
some twenty in number, for they had retired into the 


antechamber, leaving the door open. The King was 
heard to say from time to time, l Yes, with all my heart/ 
In his extreme weakness, he did not always catch the 
Duke's low voice, and had to ask him to repeat his 
words. He was anxious lest James's action should lead Chaillot 


him into subsequent trouble, but the Duke expressed 
himself ready to run all risks in the sacred cause. The 
whole interview between the brothers lasted about a 
quarter of an hour. 

The Duke of York then left the bedchamber, as 
though to go to the Queen's apartments, taking Barillon 
with him. ' The King has consented/ said James, ' to 
my bringing him a priest : I dare not bring him any of 
the Duchess's, as they are too well known : send 
quickly and seek one/ Barillon replied that he would 
do so with pleasure, but that it would mean loss of time, 
whereas the Queen's priests he had just seen in a closet 
next to her chamber. The Duke replied, ' You are 
right/ At the same moment, seeing the Count of 
Castelmelhor, he addressed himself to him, and found 
him all zeal to help, undertaking himself to speak to the 
Queen at once. Quickly returning, the Count said to 
Barillon, ' Though I were to risk my life in this business, 
I would gladly do it : but I know none of the Queen's 
priests who understands English, and can speak it/ 
All the Queen's priests were Portuguese, and those of Chaillot 
the Duchess of York Italian. MS - 

On this the Duke and Barillon decided to send to the 
Venetian Resident's. But as time was pressing, the 
Count went first to the room where the Queen's priests 
were, and found there among them a Scotch priest, one 
John Hudleston. He had been instrumental in saving 
Charles from his pursuers during his flight to the 
sea-coast after the battle of Worcester, at Molesey, 
where he was residing as tutor in Whitgrave's house- 


London hold. For this service Hudleston had been exempted 

Nov*2i ky name from the most severe Acts of Parliament 

1678. directed against the priests, whereas many of them had 

Ch|illot been Driven to flee the country. Castelmelhor took 

care to see that Hudleston was duly instructed in what 

he should say to the King on so serious an occasion. 

Disguised in a wig and cassock, Hudleston was led 
by Castelmelhor to the door of an apartment which com- 
municated by a small flight of steps with the King's 
Hudle- bedchamber. This was between seven and eight 
^Brief ' c l c k m tne evening. Here he was ordered to wait, 
Account, and on no account whatever to stir thence. In the 
haste Hudleston had not had time to bring along with 
him the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and was greatly 
exercised in mind how to procure it. Divine Providence, 
however, so ordered it that Father Bento de Lemoz, 
one of the Queen's Portuguese priests, came, and, 
learning his difficulty, offered himself to go to St. James's 
and bring the most Holy Sacrament along with him. 
Higgons. The priest quickly procured the Sacrament, as some say 
from the chapel at Somerset House, and brought it to 
the backstairs. 

Meantime Barillon had informed the Duke that all 
was in readiness: James thereupon sent Chiffins to 
Hudleston, with orders to bring him as soon as a 
summons came from himself. Then in a loud voice he 
said, ' Gentlemen, the King wishes everybody to retire, 
except the Earls of Bath and of Feversham.' The 
former was Groom of the Stole, while the latter was 
Chamberlain to Queen Catherine; in later years he 
earned the sobriquet of l King Dowager '. The phy- 
sicians withdrew into a closet and the door was shut 
behind them. 

Chaillot Charles had desired James to stay alone with 
MS - Hudleston, and to dismiss every one else, but the Duke 


declined consent. Seeing that the King was now 
actually sinking, the decision, as events proved, was 
wise. The Lords, Bishops, and others withdrew into Barillon. 
the antechamber adjoining the bedroom, and the Duke | om ^ rs 
of York latched the door behind them. side. 

The Duke now let in Hudleston by a secret door at chaillot 
the right side of the bed. As soon as the King saw MS> 
him he cried out, ' You that saved my body is now come 
to save my soul.' Hudleston approached the bed and Ailes- 
knelt down to present the King with such service as he bur y- 
could, for the honour of God and the eternal salvation 
of the King's soul. Charles then declared : That he 
desired .to die in the faith and communion of thcTRoTy 
Roman Catholic_Cfiurch : That he was most heartily 
sorry for all the sins of his past life, and particularly 
for having deferred his reconciliation so long: That 
through the merits of Christ's Passion he hoped for 
salvation : That he was in charity with all the world : 
That he pardoned his enemies with all his heart, and 
desired pardon of all whom he had offended in any 
way; and that, if God were pleased to spare his life 
awhile, he would amend it, and detest all sin. 

Hudleston next advised His Majesty of the benefit 
and necessity of the sacrament of penance, and the 
King most willingly assented, making confession of his 
life without reserve and with sincere contrition. To 
show still further that his repentance was not mere 
remorse, Hudleston desired him to repeat along with 
him the following short act of contrition : ' O my Lord 
God, with my whole heart and soul I detest all the sins 
of my life past for the love of Thee, whom I love above 
all things, and I firmly purpose by Thy Holy Grace 
never to offend Thee more, Amen, Sweet Jesus, Amen. 
Into Thy hands, Sweet Jesus, I commend my soul. 
Mercy, Sweet Jesus, Mercy.' Charles pronounced 


James's these words in a clear, audible voice, frequently lifting 
up his hands, and Hudleston, admitting his sacramental 
penance, gave him absolution. He then asked His 
Majesty if he would accept the other sacraments of 
the Church. Charles replied that he desired to partake 
of all that would help and succour a Catholic Christian 
in his condition. Hudleston next asked him if he 
would receive the precious body and blood of our dear 
Saviour Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the 
Eucharist. The answer came, * If I am jvorthy, pray 
fail not to let me have it.' The Host had not yet 
been brought, so Hudleston asked permission to 
proceed to the Sacrament of extreme unction : the King 
replied, ' With all my heart/ and he ' anoyled ' him. 

Hudleston was now called to the door, where Father 
Bento de Lemoz handed him the Sacrament he had 
brought. Then returning to the King, he entreated 
him to prepare himself to receive it. The King raised 
himself up and said, ' Let me meet my Heavenly Father 
in a better posture than lying on my bed/ Hudleston 
humbly begged him to repose himself, saying that God 
Almighty, who saw his heart, would accept his good 
intention. The King again recited with Hudleston the 
previous act of contrition, and received the holy sacra- 
ment for his viaticum, with the utmost devoutness. 
After this communion, Hudleston read the prayers 
termed 'the Recommendation of the SouP, appointed 
by the Catholic Church for the dying. The act of 
Contrition was recited a third time at the King's request, 
and when it was finished, Hudleston, for his last spiritual 
encouragement, said, ' Your Majesty hath now received 
the comfort and benefit of all the sacraments that a 
good Christian, ready to depart out of the world, can 
have or desire. Now it only rests, that you think upon 
the death and passion of our dear Saviour Jesus Christ, 


of which I present unto you this figure/ Then holding 

up a crucifix before the King's eyes, he implored him, 

' Lift up therefore the eyes of your soul, and represent 

to yourself your sweet Saviour here crucified, bowing 

down His head to kiss you : His arms stretched out to 

embrace you : His body and members all bloody and 

pale with death to redeem you. And as you see Him 

dead and fixed upon the Cross for your redemption, 

so have His remembrance fixed and fresh in your heart. 

Beseech Him with all humility, that His most precious $ \ 

blood may not be shed in vain for you ; and that it 

will please Him, by the merits of His bitter death and 

passion to pardon and forgive you all your offences; 

and finally to receive your soul into His blessed hands ; 

and when it shall please Him to take it out of this 

transitory world, to grant you a joyful resurrection, 

and an eternal crown of glory in the next. In the name 

of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 


Hudleston having recommended His Majesty with all 
his powers of devotion to the divine mercy and pro- 
tection, withdrew from the bedchamber, and was no 
more seen. The whole ceremony had occupied about 
three-quarters of an hour. While it was in progress MS. 
significant glances were exchanged among those waiting 
in the antechamber, but nothing was said except in 
whispers. The presence of the Earls of Bath and 
Feversham, both of whom were Protestants, did some- 
thing to allay the apprehension of the Bishops and 
others. But the surreptitious coming and going did not 
escape the notice of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting and 
of the priests, and human nature could ill bear the 
concealment of such a secret in its bosom. 

The ceremony over, the King seemed to rally his 
strength, and hopes were entertained that His Majesty 


was to be miraculously rescued from death. The 
Scar- physicians, however, declared that there was no real 
M U s gh betterment, and that he could hardly live through the 
night. They had realized early in the afternoon that 
his failing strength called for the exhibition of powerful 
remedies, to support the heart. The famous Raleigh's 
Antidote, the virtue of which resided more in the multi- 
tude of its ingredients than in their potency, had already 
been brought into action, and to leave no stone unturned 
superstition was summoned to the aid of science in 
the exhibition of powdered Goa stone. No less than 
fourteen eminent physicians breathed a benediction on 
this unholy alliance. 

As evening came on signs were not wanting that 
the whole gamut of pharmacy had been exhausted. 
Peruvian Bark was given in greater quantity, Sal 
Ammoniac with greater frequency : and later, the 
Oriental Bezoar stone, from its normal habitat in the 
stomach of an eastern goat, was transferred to its last 
resting-place in that of the King. 

Barillon. Through the weary watches of Thursday night 

Charles's mind remained clear and undimmed : nothing 

Stuart in life became him as the leaving of it. With calm 

Papers, composure he looked approaching death in the eyes. 

His courage and unconcern amazed all who had known 

Letter his soft voluptuous nature. In his direst distress he 

) Roper. a u owe( j tnat ne was su ffe r ing, but thanked God that 

he did so patiently. Now and then he would seem 
to long for death to come quickly, and with thoughtful 
courtesy asked pardon of those around him for taking 
Scar- so long a-dying. He hoped that his work in this world 
was over > anc ^ tna t he would soon pass to another and 
better. He showed the greatest affection and tender- 
ness to his brother James, who knelt by his bedside 
kissing his hand, seemingly overwhelmed with an 


anguish of sorrow. Charles thanked James for having 
always been the best of brothers and friends, and asked 
pardon for any hardship he might have inflicted on 
him from time to time, and for the risks of fortune 
he had run on his account. He gave him his breeches Evelyn, 
and keys, and told him that he now freely left him 
all, and begged God to give him a prosperous reign. 

About midnight Thursday Queen Catherine came Van 
to the bedside, and Charles spoke most tenderly to ^ 
her. She was so overwhelmed with consternation and Memoirs. 
grief at the spectacle of her dying husband, that she 
fainted away several times, and was carried to her bed, 
where she was kept at the bidding of her physician. 
Later she sent a message by the Marquis of Halifax Van 
to ask pardon of Charles, if ever in her life she had Cltters - 
offended him. ' Alas ! poor woman ! ' said he, ' she beg 
my pardon ! I beg hers with all my heart/ 

The Duchess of York stood by the bedside, and, like Letter to 
her husband, showed deep sorrow at their impending open 

Charles twice recommended the Duchess of Ports- Barillon. 
mouth to James, and entreated him not to let poor 
Nell Gwynne starve. Then he commended his natural Van 
children to James. The Dukes of Grafton, Southampton, Cltters - 
Northumberland, St. Albans, and Richmond were all 
there. The Duke of Monmouth was absent, and his 
name did not even pass his father's lips : his ill-concealed 
ambition to supplant his uncle in the succession to the 
crown forbade its mention. 

Charles blessed his children one by one, drawing Chester- 
them down to him on the bed. Then the Bishops fieldt 
besought him, as the Lord's anointed and the father 
of his country, to bless them also and all those that 
were by, and in them the whole body of his subjects. 
Whereupon all in the room, which was now full, fell 


down upon their knees, and the King raised himself 

in bed, and asking pardon if he had neglected anything, 

or acted contrary to the best rules of good government, 

pronounced a solemn blessing on them all. So moving 

was the scene, that scarce an eye was dry. 

Letter The Bishops remained by the bedside of the dying 

to Roper. man to t h e enc | Ken, at thejj. j o j nt re quest, spoke for 

them all, they assisting only with prayers and pious 
Somers ejaculations, as they saw occasion. The King joined 
ide ad heartily in the prayers. Ken desired him to remem- 
ber his end, and to endeavour to make a good one, 
Charles said that he had thought of it, and hoped he 
Hawkins, had made his peace with God. Ken repeatedly urged 
him to receive the sacrament, but he persistently de- 
clined it. 

Barillon. At six o'clock, at the first glimmering of dawn, Charles 
Chaillot as k e( j them to draw back the curtains of his bed and 
to open the windows, so that he might gladden his 
dying eyes for the last time with the light of the rising 
sun. Then he asked that an eight-day clock in his 
room might be wound, for to-day was the day, else 
it would run down. 

Scar- At seven o'clock he was seized with urgent breathless- 

jjjg gh ness, that compelled him to sit upright in bed. Now and 
again its stress abated for a while, but only to come 
again. The physicians bled him again to twelve ounces, 
but their efforts were ineffectual. As a last resource 
they plied him with their most active heart tonics. 
Aprice. At half-past eight his speech began to fail: at ten 
Luttrell. o'clock he lay unconscious and dying; and shortly* 
Gazette before noon on Friday the sixth of February he expired 
Feb. 5-9. calmly without any return of convulsions. 
Letter to On Friday morning the churches were thronged with 
Roper, people, come there to pray for the King, all in tears 
and with dejected looks, so that it was difficult to get 


through the service. Outside the Church and in the 
streets sorrow was to be seen in every face ; the sense 
of loss was general; poor as well as rich paid their 
tribute to his memory: 'there was scarce a servant 
maid betwixt White Chapell and Westminster, who was Higgons. 
not in black crape, the Woman's mourning at this time, 
upon this occasion/ 

The London Gazette of February 9 contained the 
following order for general mourning: 


Whereas His Majesty hath been pleased to command 
me to take care that the present mourning may be 
performed with that decency that becomes so great 
an occasion: This is therefore to inform all persons 
concerned, that 'tis expected they put themselves into 
the deepest mourning that is possible: (Long Cloaks 
only excepted), And that as well all Lords, as Privy 
Councillors, and Officers of His Late Majesty's House- 
hold do cover their coaches and chairs and clothe their 
Livery Servants with black cloth ; and that none presume 
to use any varnish'd or bullion nails to be seen on their 
coaches or chairs : except his Majesty, the Queen 
Consort, Queen Dowager and their Royal Highnesses. 

Given under my hand this ninth day of February 
1684. In the first year of His Majesty's reign, King 
James the Second, over England, etc. 


Louis at once sent through Barillon private assurance Louis to 
to James of his sorrow and sympathy, and publicly n 
testified the same by prohibiting in his Court the amuse- 
ment of assemblies and operas, and by an order of 
mourning to be worn ' as long as the deceased King 
wore it for the death of the late Queen ', his consort. 

So soon as the King was dead, Ailesbury as first Ailes- 
Gentleman of the Bedchamber offered himself for the bury ' 
duty of watching the body, and of ordering all that was 
needful. This sad duty he fulfilled in floods of tears. 


He had been present at the King's death, having 
returned to his bedside at ten o'clock in the morning 
after a brief period of repose. 

Barillon. James too had at once withdrawn to give vent to 
his sorrow in the privacy of his own chamber. A 

Privy quarter of an hour later he met the Privy Council in 

Records. tne Council-chamber, and after expressing in a few 
words his deep sorrow at the death of his brother, 
addressed them in a memorable, but by him ill- 
remembered, speech of fervent devotion to the estab- 
lished government both in Church and State. The 
Council were then sworn, and a Proclamation was 
ordered to be published, confirming all officials in 
their present posts. Then the King rose from his 
seat at the head of the board, and, worn out with 

Evelyn, fatigue and sorrow, retired to his bedchamber, accom- 
panied by the Council to the door. Then, returning 
to the Council-chamber, they prepared the order for the 

Privy Proclamation according to precedent. An influential 

Records, committee of Lords of the Privy Council was appointed 
' to consider of the disposall of the late King's Body '. 
It was further ordered 'that the Vice-Chamberlain of 
His Majesty's Household be then present with their 
Lords, and that their Lords do send for such Persons 
and Bookes of Presidents that they may judge to their 
better information herein, and report their opinion 
thereupon to his Majesty, and that in order thereunto 
their Lords do meet in % the Council Chamber at Six 
of ye Clock this evening.' 

Between three and four o'clock on Friday afternoon 
James's accession was publicly acclaimed without any 

Barillon. commotion. The gladness, however, was tempered with 
grief for the late King. After the Proclamation the 
Council and others went to the King's bedchamber to 

Evelyn, salute the King and Queen. James had just risen from 


his bed, and was in his undress. Queen Mary was still 
in bed, but put out her hand to be kissed ; signs of her 
grief were evident in her face. The Council also paid 
a visit of condolence to the Queen Dowager in her 
bedchamber. Here later she received the foreign 
envoys 'on a bed of mourning, the whole chamber, 
cieling and floor hung with black, and tapers were 
lighted, so as nothing could be more lugubrous and 
solemne '. 

On Saturday the King's body was opened by the Van 
physicians. They noted the fullness of the veins and Citters - 
arteries on the surface of the brain. No ruptured Scar- 
vessel was detected, though the substance of the brain ^| gh 
was examined. Lower, an avowed Whig, was present Burnet. 
at the autopsy, as he had been in the sick-room : his 
accurate anatomical descriptions formed the most valu- 
able portion of Willis's treatise De Cerebro. They 
were struck with the abundance of serous fluid in the Van 
ventricles and in the substance of the brain. The right ltt 
lung and pleura were firmly adherent to the chest-wall 
from inflammation of long standing. Probably this may 
be referred to the illness mentioned by Povy to Pepys, Pepys, 
when some thought the King was in a consumption. ^^ ' 
The heart was found to be large and firm, that is to Scar- 
say, in modern medical parlance, it had undergone jjjg gh 
hypertrophy, but was otherwise free from disease. No 
abnormality was found in the abdomen, but it was 
noted that the liver, spleen, and kidneys were full of 

After the autopsy the body was embalmed. A cast Van 
of the face was taken, presumably after the autopsy 1 . tters - 
and embalming. This was customary at the death of bury, 
a king or queen or of other important persons. Casts 
were taken in plaster, after the face had been smeared 
with pomatum. This was the mould, from which a 


Pepys, wax-mask was prepared. This mask formed the face 

1669. 10 ' ^ tne e ^y dressed in the dead man's clothes, that 

was carried on the bier in the funeral procession, and 

Bradley, afterwards deposited on the tomb. The effigy of King 

Charles II stood for over a century above the vault in 

which he was buried, and may still be seen in a chamber 

in Westminster 'Abbey, above the Islip Chapel. The 

robes were renewed in the eighteenth century, and 

trimmed with real point de rose lace. 

Dugdale. On Tuesday, February 10, the Privy Council met in 

the evening to decide whether the King's body should 

be deposited forthwith in the Princes' Chamber; and 

on the same day John Dugdale, Windsor Herald, in a 

letter written from London to Sir William Dugdale, 

Garter King of Arms, complains that they have had no 

instructions about the funeral : ' we know nothing, only 

discourse is that it will be exceeding private, not so 

much as a footman of ye late King's put in mourning.' 

Anthony On Thursday night, February 12, the King's body was 

carried to the Princes' Chamber at Westminster, and 

there it lay in state till Saturday evening, amid illumina- 

James's tions and solemn mourning. On February 13 Van Citters 

emotrs. re p Orte( j to fa Q Hague that the funeral ceremonies would 

not be very great. 

London The funeral was solemnized on Saturday evening after 
Feb^S- dark - The body was carried from the Painted Chamber 
16. in Westminster Palace to the Abbey Church. The coffin, 

coverec * by a purple velvet pall, was borne by gentlemen 
of the Privy Chamber, with six Earls supporting the 
pall. The procession was headed by the servants of 
the nobility, of their Royal Highnesses, of the King 
and Queen, the Dowager Queen, and the late King. 
After them followed the Barons, Bishops, and others of 
the nobility in strict order of precedence. The chief 
mourner, in the absence of King James, was His Royal 

Now in Westminster Abbey 


Highness Prince George of Denmark, to whom Lord 
Cornbury was train-bearer. The Dukes of Somerset 
and Beaufort, wearing the collars of the Garter, as did 
the other Garter Knights who were present, acted as 
supporters to Prince George, while sixteen Earls were 
his assistants. One of the Kings of Arms carried the 
crown and cushion, the rest of the Officers of Arms 
attending and directing the ceremony. His Majesty's 
band of Gentlemen Pensioners and the Yeomen of the 
Guard brought up the rear. At the entrance to the 
Abbey the Dean and Prebendaries of Westminster, 
attended by the choir, met the body and led the way 
to the Chapel of King Henry VII, where the body 
was interred ' in a new vault at the end of the south West- 
aisle'. After the service was over, the officers of His 

Majesty's Household broke their staves over the grave, Register 
and ' the Royal style was proclaimed by another of the Burials. 
King of Arms according to custom '. For nearly two 
centuries no name served to identify the tomb. Post- 
humous remembrance was no part of the Stuart 

D 2 




CHARLES SCARBURGH was born in 1616 in London, in 
the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. He was educated 
at St. Paul's School and Caius College, Cambridge. 
He became a Fellow of his college, and took pupils, 
but devoted all his spare time to mathematics and medi- 
cine. At Cambridge he lectured on Oughtred's Clavis 
Mathematicus. His warm espousal of the Royalist 
cause in the civil wars led to the loss of his fellowship 
and of his library of books. Thence he migrated to 
Oxford and entered Merton College, where Harvey 
was then Warden. Here a friendship, that ended only 
with Harvey's death, sprang up between them. Scar- 
burgh was able to assist him materially in the work de 
Generatione Animalium on which he was then engaged. 
In 1646 he was admitted a Doctor of Medicine at 

Soon after this Scarburgh came to London, and in 
1648 was first enrolled in the College of Physicians of 
London, where he subsequently held many official posts, 
but never became President. He was one of the original 
Fellows of the Royal Society. 

In 1652 we catch a glimpse of him again, begging 
Evelyn to give the Tables of Veins and Arteries which 
Evelyn had acquired at Padua from Dr. Jo. Athelsteinus 


From a water-colour copy, in the Royal College of Physicians, of the 

portrait in the Hall of the Barbers' Company 

P. 52 


Leonaenas in 1646 to the College of Physicians, ' pre- 
tending/ as Evelyn says, 'he would not only reade 
upon them, but celebrate my curiositie as being the first 
who caused them to be compleated in that manner, and 
with that cost/ The physician misread his man, and 
the College acquired only the loan of them during their 
anatomical lectures, whereas later they were presented 
to the Royal Society, who ordered them to be engraved. 
For some years Scarburgh lectured on Anatomy at 
the Surgeons* Hall. Here his portrait may still be seen 
along with that of Arris. Pennant gave the following 
description of it : ' He is dressed in the red gown, hood 
and cap of a doctor of physic, and is in the act of 
speaking: one hand on his breast, the other a little 
stretched out. On the left is another figure, the demon- 
strating surgeon dressed in the livery gown of the city 
of London : whose business it was to handle and show 
the parts of the dissected bodies. Accordingly he holds 
up the arm of a dead body, placed on a table, partly 
covered with a sheet with the sternum naked and laid 
bare, and the pectoral muscles appearing/ The portrait 
was painted to the order of the Company by Greenbury 
in 1651, as a mark of their regard for Scarburgh. 
Beneath the portrait is the following inscription : 

Haec tibi Scarburgi Arrisius queis spiritus intus 

Corporis humani nobile versat opus. 

Ille Opifex rerum tibi rerum arcana reclusit, 

Et Numen verbis iussit inesse tuis. 

Ille Dator rerum tibi res indulsit opimas, 

Atque animam indultas qui bene donet opes. 

Alter erit quisquis magna haec exempla sequetur, 

Alterutri vestrum nemo secundus erit. 

In 1656 Scarburgh succeeded Harvey as Lumleian 
Lecturer at the College of Physicians. He attended him 


in his last illness in 1657, and a scandalous rumour got 
abroad that at Harvey's request he had given him his 
quietus in a draught of opium. Harvey bequeathed 
him in his will his velvet gown and surgical instruments, 
and desired him to look over his books and papers, and 
to present such as he thought fit to the College. 

In 1658 Scarburgh was deputed by the President to 
greet the Marquis of Dorchester in a Latin speech on 
his admission to the Fellowship of the College. In 
1660 Scarburgh dined with Pepys in his cabin aboard 
ship, where they were awaiting Charles's landing in 
England* Pepys reminded him how he had heard him 
say, ' that children do, in every day's experience, look 
several ways with both their eyes, till custom teaches 
them otherwise. And that we do now see with but one 
eye, our eyes looking in parallel lines.' 

In 1663 we again find him in the company of Pepys 
at a banquet at the Surgeons' Hall. ' Dr. Scarborough 
took some friends of his, and I went with them, to see 
the body of a lusty fellow, a seaman, that was hanged 
for a robbery. It seems one Dillon, of a good family, 
was, after much endeavour to have saved him, hanged 
with a silken haltar this Sessions, (of his own preparing,) 
not for honour only, but it being soft and sleek it do slip 
close and kill, that it strangles presently : whereas a stiff 
one do not come so close together, and so the party may 
live the longer before killed. But all the Doctors at 
table conclude, that there is no pain at all in hanging, 
for that it do stop the circulation of the blood ; and so 
stops all sense and motion in an instant.' 

Scarburgh was appointed physician to Charles II, and 
in 1669 was knighted by him. This was not his only 
Court appointment, for he was subsequently personal 
physician to James II, to Prince George of Denmark, 
to William III and to his Queen Mary. 


Scarburgh was in wide request as a physician. His 
name frequently appears in contemporary literature. 
Anthony Wood consulted him on several occasions. 
The poet Waller consulted him for dropsy in his legs. 
Scarburgh's prognosis was scarcely reassuring : ' Sir/ 
said he, 'your blood will run no longer' (Johnson's 
Life of Waller}. Abraham Cowley wrote the following 
lines on Scarburgh, which suggest that he owed more 
to Scarburgh's friendship than to his physic : 

Some hours at least on thy own pleasures spend, 
Since the whole stock may soon exhausted be 

Bestow J t not all in charitie. 
Let Nature and let Art do what they please, 
When all is done, Life 's an incurable disease. 

After Cowley's death in 1667 Scarburgh requited his 
friend's verse with 'An Elegy upon Mr. Abraham 
Cowley '. 

Scarburgh, among his many other pursuits, was no 
mean naturalist. He sent a great northern diver and 
an eagle, taken in Ireland, to Sir Thomas Browne. 
The eagle made its home for two years in the sacred 
precincts of the College of Physicians in Warwick 

He was a noted bibliophile, and owned a very valu- 
able library of mathematical works and Greek classics. 
Evelyn says that the books were to have been trans- 
ferred en bloc to King William's library at St. James's 
Palace, but that the project fell through owing to the 
premature death of Queen Mary in 1694, and the library 
was disposed of piecemeal in 1695. 

In 1682 Scarburgh wellnigh lost his life in the well- 
known wreck of the Gloucester in Yarmouth Roads, 
when James was accused of abandoning all but his 
dogs and his priests to their fate. The Duke's dog 


Mumper is said to have struggled with Sir Charles 
for a plank. Judging from the event, the physician 
seems to have found means of disposing of the dog. 

In 1685 Scarburgh acted as chief physician through- 
out the last illness of Charles II. His account in Latin 
will be found in the following pages. 

From 1685 to 1687 ne was member of Parliament for 
Camelford; but his parliamentary duties were not so 
exacting as to withdraw him from the pursuit of his 

Death came to this man of many parts in 1694. He 
was buried at Canford, in Middlesex, and a marble 
monument on the north side of the chancel bears a 
Latin inscription to his memory. 

The works that survived him include the Syllabus 
Musculorum ; a Treatise on Trigonometry ; a Com- 
pendium of Lily's Grammar ; the Elegy upon Abraham 
Cowley; and a posthumous edition by his son of an 
English translation of Euclid's Elements, with notes. 

FEB. 2, 1684. 

Ad octavam praecise horam Rex Serenissimus 
Carolus II lecto recens relicto, dum in cubiculo leniter 
inambulabat, inordinatum quendam in cerebro sensit 
motum, cui mox aphonia motusque convulsivi vehe- 
mentiores succedebant. 

Aderant forte tune ex Medicis Regiis omnino duo, 
qui ut tanto Regum Optimi periculo mature prospi- 
cerent, venam ei in brachio dextro aperierunt, sangui- 
nisque eduxerunt uncias circiter sedecem. Interim et 
ceteri Medici per celerrimos nuncios advocati, in Regis 
subsidium convolarunt ; habitoque inter se Consilio, 


omnem navarunt Operam, ut periclitanti Majestati Sup- 
petias ferrent praesentaneas. 

Praescripserunt 1 nimirum, ut humeris applicarentur 
Cucurbitulae tres, eisque mox succederet Scarificatio 
satis profunda, idque majoris revulsionis fortiorisque 
gratia, quo pacto extractae sunt Sanguinis gviij circiter. 
Intra pauca exinde temporis momenta, ut Ventriculus 
ab omni impuritate vindicaretur, eodemque motu uni- 
versum genus nervorum quicquid sibi molestum erat, 
elideret; Vomitorium propinarunt, nempe Infusionis 
Croci metallorum 2 in vino albo facti sesquiunciam, cujus 
exigua tantum parte admissa, ne conatus omnino irritus 
esset, addiderunt Salis vitrioli albi drachmam unam in 
Aq. Paeoniae 3 compos, solutam. 

Post paulo exhibuerunt etiam Pilularum ex duobus 
drachmam unam, pariter in Aq. Paeoniae solut. hocque 
ut humores expeditius per inferiora amandarentur. 

Atque ut Cathartici illius operatio promoveretur, 
superinjecerunt Enema in hunc modum confectum 
R. Decoct, commun. pro Clyster.* Ibj 
Spec. hier. pier. 5 gj 

Syr. e. Spin. Cervin. sij 

Salis gem. 3ss 

Infus. Croc, metall. 5ij 


1 The composition and ingredients of the various preparations 
are for the most part to be found in the Pharmacopoeia Londinensis, 
1677. Only su ch details are given in the notes as are needed to 
make the account intelligible. 

2 Infusio Croci Metallorum : prepared from Sulphuret of Anti- 
mony and Nitre. Crocus on account of its colour. 

3 A complex antispasmodic mixture. 

4 A common vehicle for drugs administered by the bowel. The 
ingredients were Mallow Leaves, Violets, Pellitory, Beet, Herb 
Mercurial, Camomile Flowers, Fennel Seeds, Linseed, Plain 

5 Cinnamon, Zedoaria, Asarum, Cardamom Seeds, Saffron, 
Cochineal, Aloes. Spec, is the abbreviation of Species. 


Haecque omnia ordinabantur Consilio Medicorum : 
Car. Scarburgh C. Frazier 

Ed. Dickenson Tho. Short 

Ric. Lower Edm. King 

Post horam unam vel alteram repetebant Clysterem, 
additis Syr. de Sp. Cervini gij, Vini Emetic. 1 giiij, Salis 
Gem 3ij. 

His autem tarde operantibus, eundem adhuc scopum 
rursum ferire contendunt aliis etiam purgantibus in hunc 
modum praeparatis 

R. Pil. 2 ex duobus 3ij. dissolv. in Aq. Paeon, comp. 
Biij unde Rex confestim sumebat I], reliquo in usus 
futuros reservato. 

Praeterea ut nullum lapidem immotum relinquerent, 
applicata etiam fuerunt Epispastica universa Capiti, 
derasis prius Capillis. 

Car. Scarburgh F. Mendes 

Thos. Witherly Rich. Lower 

Ed. Dickenson Tho. Short 

G. Charleton Edm. King 

C. Frasier 

Sub vesper[ ]m 3 ut perseverarent in Intentione 
humores a Capite continenter avertendi et abducendi, 
simulque ut oppresso Cerebro vires adderent, sequens 
Pharmacum praescripserunt 

R. Spec. Hier. pier. gj 

Aq. Paeon, comp. Ibj 

Bryon. 4 comp. Ibss 

M. f. Tinctura 

1 Antimonial Wine. 

2 Colocynth, Scammony, Oil of Cloves, Syrup of Buckthorn. 

8 In the MS. there is no trace of the letter omitted in vesper[ ]m : 
probably Scarburgh halted between vesperum and vesperem, and 
meant to fill it in after having ascertained the approved form. 

4 Bryony reputed to be emetic, purgative, and diuretic. 


Cujus cap. quantum et quoties Medicis adstantibus 
visum fuerit. 

Eodem tempore ad excitandam Sternutationem Pulvis 
erat factus e radicibus Hellebor. albi 3j. in promptu ser- 
vandus, ut, quoties ex usu sit, Regis naribus admoveatur. 
Confectus etiam fuit (Cerebri invigorandi gratia) alter 
Pulv. e flor. Primul. Veris quantitate giiij 

C. Scarburgh Tho. Short 

Tho. Witherly R. Lower 

G. Charleton Ed. King 

Ed. Dickenson M. Lyster 

C. Frasier Fer. Mendes 

Ut nocte etiam Alvus flueret praescriptum quoque 
fuit sequens medicamentum 

R. Mann. opt. giij . dissolv. 

in Aq. Hord. Ibj . Colatur 

add. Crem. Tartar. 3j . unde 
capiat iiij. secunda quaque hora. 
Item ut obviam iretur urinae ardori, a vesicatoriorum 
usu impendent!, confecta erat hujusmodi Emulsio, toties 
quoties bibenda 

R. Decoct. Hordei cu Liquorit. Ib iij 
Amygd. d. excorticat. N xx 

f. Emulsio Sacchar. alb. edulcor. 

C. Scarburgh F. Mendes Ed. King 

T. Witherly T. Short M. Lyster 

W. Charleton R. Lower J. Lefebure 

E. Dickenson G. Frasier 

Super additum fuit Eccoproticum ex Tinctur. Sacr. l 
in Vin. alb. extract, giij, mox ab Enemate rejecto pro- 

1 Sacred Tincture : contained Species Hierae Picrae (see before), 
Absinth, Centaury, Spirit of Wine, Anise. 


Enematis autem istius forma tails erat 

R. Decoct, commun. Ibj. Spec. Hier. i 

Salis Gem. 3jss. Syr. e Sp. Cerv. t>uj 


Horum Praescript. subscripsit 
L. Rugely. 

Interim Siti prospectum erat praesidio sequent!, quod 
alvum simul subduceret 

R. Mann. opt. 3yj. Crem. Tartar. 3ss 
dissolve in haustu Jusculi tenuioris 
vel Aq. Hord. Biij. Sumatur. 

Consultum etiam erat ut Regia Majestas persisteret 
in usu turn emulsionis, turn Jusculi tenuioris vicibus 
alternis, utque interdum Cerevisiae tenuioris non lupu- 
latae haustulus interponeretur pro arbitrio per totam 

Haec dum peragebantur, Serenissimi Regis naribus 
subinde admovebatur l Spir. Salis*,'tam ad invigorandum 
Cerebrum, quam ad Sternutationem excitandam. Per 
intervalla exhibitae etiam fuerunt guttulae viginti ejus- 
dem quidem Spiritus sed Succinati, in haustulo Aquae 
Lactis Alexiteriae 2 . 

Et ne quid intentatum relinqueretur, quo ulterior 
adhuc turn revulsio, turn derivatio e Capite fieret, 
applicabantur plantis Empl. Cephalic, cum Euphorbio 3 
et Pice Burgundica, partibus aequalibus. 

1 The significance of the asterisk is not apparent. The pre- 
paration is clearly Spirit of Sal Ammoniac, of which in subsequent 
Pharmacopoeias there was a Succinate variety. 

8 Aqua Lactis Alexiteriae composed of Leaves of Ulmaria, 
Thistle, Mint, Absinth, Rue, Angelica, Milk. 

3 A noxious ingredient of this plaster was Pigeon's dung. It 
probably was not employed for its adhesive properties, as the 
plaster contains Resin. Goose's dung was considered almost a 
specific for jaundice, when taken by the stomach. 


Atque in hunc modum finiebantur 
Consilia Medicorum primo 

die habita. 
Februar. 3. 

A Medicis ordinatum, ut Rex Serenissimus proce- 
deret in usu Tinctur. Sacr. sexta quaque hora, dosi 
ante descripta, horisque intermediis adderet dosin Mann, 
praescript. cu Crem. Tart, in tenui jusculo dissolutam, 
et ne Dysuria nimium saeviret interponeret usum 
Emulsionis: Et ad vires refocillandas Cerebrumque 
eadem opera invigorandam exhibit! fuerunt Spir. Salis 
Ammoniaci in Aq. Lactis Alexiter. quoties languor 
exposcere videretur 

Hujus Consilii Authores erant 
Ch. Scarburgh T. Witherly 

G. Charleton C. Frasier 

E. Dickenson F. Mendes 

T. Short R. Lower 

E. King E. Browne 

J. Lefebure M. Lister 

Qui sub meridiem rursus convenientes, necessarium 
esse judicarunt, ut, aperta vena jugulari alterutra, San- 
guinis educerentur unciae circiter decem, quamprimum 
et commodum fieri possit. 

Quo facto, ad demulcendum Urinae ardorem ex 
Vesicatoriis oriundum, praescripta fuit. Emulsio sequens 
R. Rad. Alth. siccat. ij. Coq. in Aq. Hord. 
Ib iij ad ij. Amygd. d. excort. N 6. Sem. 
Melon. 3ss f. Emulsio edulcoranda Syr. de 
Alth. j. unde saepius bibatur haustulus 
ad mitigandam Sitim Dysuriamque leniendam. 
Repetitum fuit Decoct. Hord. in cujus Ibj. dissolutae 
fuerunt Mann. opt. giij. unde propinabantur Cochlear. 6. 
tertia quaque hora in jusculi ex pullo Gallinaceo facti 
haustu, idque ut alvus subinde officii sui memor esset. 


Ad haec Rege de doloribus in fauce conquerente, 
apparenteque inibi Excoriatione levi, sequens Gar- 
garismus praescriptus fuit 

B. Cort. interioris Ulmj Bj 
Coq. in Aq. Hord. Ib ij ad j 
Colatur. add. Syr. de Alth. j. Misce 
C. Scarburgh E. Browne 

T. Short G. Charleton 

F. Mendes R. Lower 

Porro consultissimum videbatur, ut alvus semper sol- 
veretur, exhibendo eum in finem Tinctur. Sacrae modo 
memoratae Bij ' postea repetita Mannae ut supra dis- 
solutae dosi consueta; utque Emulsionis et Jusculi 
tenuis alternatim exhibitorum propinarentur haustuli. 

Ac habita vitalis indicationis ratione scriptum fuit 
Julapium in hunc modum 

R. Aq. Ceras. nigror. Flor. Til. aa Bvi 
Lil. Conval. giiij. Paeon, comp. Bij 
Spin Lavend. comp. BSS. Margaritar. praep. 3ij 
Sacch. Cand. alb. q. s. ad gratiam, ut fiat 
Julapium; unde pitisset 1 quoties placuerit 
4. 5. vel 6 Cochl. maxime in languoribus. 

Huic Consilio suffragia sua contulerunt 

C. Scarburgh E. Browne 

T. Witherly E. King 

E. Dickenson T. Short 

W. Charlton J. Lefebure 

T. Middleton M. Lister 

R. Lower G. Farrell 

Eadem purgandi necessitate usque urgente, denuo 
propinarunt Tinctur. Sacr. giij cum Syr. e. Spin. 

1 See Cooper's Thesaurus 1565: 'Pitisso, to sippe or drynke 
little. Terent.' This is the mediaeval sense, but not that in which 
Terence used it. 


Cerv. 3vj. Aq. Paeon, comp. giij. ac secunda post 
mediam noctem hora elapsa, ingestae sunt etiam Syr. e 
Sp. Cerv. 3ij, in haustu Infusionis Mannae 

Haecque ex Consilio 

C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

T. Witherly F. Mendes 

W. Charlton T. Short 

C. Frasier M. Lister 

E. Browne J. Lefebure 

Februar. 4. 

Medicis visum est Apozema laxativum simul et leniens 
praescribere in hunc modum conficiendum, et ad usus 
pro re nata servandum 

R. Tartar, alb. gss. Coq. in Aq. font. Ibjss 
Vini alb. Ibss. turn infunde Fol. Senn. 
Mann. opt. giiij. flor. Chamoemel. P ij. 
rad. Gentian. 3ss. Nuc. Moschat. 3j ad lenem 
focum per 3 horas ; deinde fiat Colatura per 
subsidentiam depuranda. 
C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

T. Witherly F. Mendes 

T. Millington M. Lister 

G. Charlton E. King 

E. Dickenson G. Farrell 

E. Browne J. Lefebuer 

T. Short 

Qui omnes tempore pomeridiano ad consulendum 
denuo conventi sequentia ordinarunt. 

Offerantur M. R. Apozematis modo descripti Biiij. 
nona a meridie hora, repetaturque eadem dosis secunda 
vel tertia post mediam noctem hora, si id commodum 
visum fuerit Medicis praesentibus. 

Interim per totam noctem per vices reficiantur S. R. 
vires nunc Jusculi tenuioris sorbitionibus, nunc Emul- 


sionis haustulis, nunc liquore Posseti, interponendo 
interdum Cerevisiae non lupulatae usum, itemque Ju- 
lapii Cephalico-Cardiaci solitam dosim, praesertim si 

Porro S. R. provecta nocte gravius affecto advigi- 
lantibus Medicis consultum videbatur haustulum pro- 
pinare sequentem 

R. Sp. Cran. human. l g* xxxx 
Cap. in Cyatho Julapii Cordialis quamprimum. 

C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

E. Dickenson F. Mendes 

T. Millington C. Farwell 

Pet. Barwick 

Februar. 5. 

Cum Medici qui in Cubiculo Regio vigilias agitarant, 
observassent Majestatem fuisse Morbi Exacerbationem 
quandam ceu Paroxysmum singulis noctibus passam, 
cumque eorum nonnulli affirmassent grassari passim 
in Urbe febres quasdam intermittentes, quae cum diris 
quidem Convulsionibus primum invadentes facile tamen 
Corticis Peruviani Febrifugi usu (praemissis praemit- 
tendis) profligarentur, propterea omnes in earn con- 
currunt sententiam, ut Cortex ille S. R. exhiberetur 
ad nocturnas Symptomatum exacerbationes cito tutoque 

Praescribunt itaqueCorticem hac ratione propinandum. 

R. Cort. Peruvian, subtil, pulv. 3j. Aq. Lactis 

Alexiter. 3iiij. Syr. Garyophyl. 3ij. M. in haustulo, 

oportuno tempore bibend. iterandumque quoties assi- 

stentibus Medicis visum fuerit. 

1 Human skull was commonly employed in convulsive disorders. 
The purpose was suggestive, viz. to excite horror, as it was to be 
the skull of a man who had died a violent death. 


Huic subscripserunt Praescripto 

T. Witherly C. Scarburgh W. Charleton 

T. Millington E. Dickenson R. Lower 

T. Short E. Browne F. Mendes 

E. King C. Frasier J. Lefeur 

E. Farrell M. Lister 

Qui etiam conjunctis sententiis statuebant, turn ut 
Corticis Febrifugi jam definita dosis Serenissimo Regi 
porrigeretur hora sexta et nona matutina, itemque 
meridie in Aq. Lactis Alexiter. siiij, turn ut horis inter- 
mediis Spiritus Cranii human! g" xxxx in Julapii 
Perlati Cyatho interponeretur. 

Februar. 6. 

Ingravescente jam turn morbo Serenissimique Regis 
viribus (Proh Dolor) sensim languentibus Medici ad 
Generosiorum Cardiacorum asylum confugere compulsi, 
praescribunt sequentia 

R. Antidoti Raleighanae 1 major 3ss 
Sumat statim in Cochlear. Julap. 
Perlat. superbibendo mox Julapii 
ejusdem cochlearia 4*. 

. Lapidis Goae 2 B j. Cap. post horam j 
vel alteram in Jusculi haustu. 

1 Confectio Raleighana in Pharmacopoeia Londinensis, 1724. 
This was an extract made of the different parts of an incredible 
number of herbs, parts of animals, and animal products, such as 
Pearls, Coral, and Bezoars. Its composition became greatly 
modified in later Pharmacopoeias, till it became the Confectio 
Aromatica of later days. The virtue of Raleigh's antidote resided 
more in the multiplicity of its components than in the physiological 
activity of all or any of them. ' Antidoti Raleighanae ' : the gender 
suggests that ' Confectionis' is understood. 

2 A false or artificial Bezoar (see below). 



C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

T. Witherly E. Browne 

G. Charleton T. Short 

T. Millington C. Frasier 

P. Barwick F. Mendes 

E. King C. Farel 

J. Febeur M. Lister 

Qui post horas aliquot rursum conventi ad incitas 
propemodum redacti hujusmodi Remedia instituerunt 
R. Cortic. Peruvian. 3jss. Vini Rhenan. giij 

mixta extemplo propinentur. 

Persistat Serenissimus Rex in usu Spin Salis Ammo- 
niac. Julapi Cordialis Cyatho contemperati, quantitate 
antehac definita ac praestitutis temporibus. 

Sumat hora octava post meridiem Sp. Salis Ammo- 
niaci Succinati g u xx in Cochlearibus 4* Julapii Perlati, 
eandem utriusque dosin alternis horis quandiu advigi- 
lantibus Medicis commodum videbitur. 
R. l Lapidis Bezoard. oriental. Bij 
Cap. in Cochleari Julapii Perlat. 
mox superbibend. ejusdem Julapii dosin 

Ex quo elapsis horis tribus S. R. magis magisque 
languente, ita praescriptum 

R. Julap. descript. Cochl. 5 
Sp. Salis Ammoniac. g tt xx 
Misceantur in potiunculam 
illico propinandam. 

1 A concretion formed in the stomach of an East Indian goat. 
Bezoars (a Persian word for antidote) were believed to have the 
power of destroying poisons and reanimating the vital powers. 
Besides the true bezoars, there were false bezoars, prepared from 
powdered oyster-shells made into small balls with gum water, 
and perfumed with ambergris. 


Ex Consilio 

C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

G. Charlton F. Mendes 

P. Barwick E. King 

T. Millington M. Lister 

E. Browne 

Caeterum (eheu !) intempesta jam nocte S. R. vires 
usque adeo infractae videbantur, ut totus Medicorum 
Chorus ab omni spe destitutus Animum Despondent: 
ne tamen ulla in re officio suo viderentur deesse, 
Generosissimum illud Cardiacum instituunt. 
R. Antidoti Raleighanae 3j 
Julap. Perlat. Cochl. 5 
Sp. Salis Ammoniac, succinat. 
g* xx. M. statim propinentur. 

Novissimo huic maestissimoque Medicorum Con- 
ventui aderant 

C. Scarburgh T. Witherly 

E. Dickenson T. Millington 

E. Browne R. Lower 

R. Brady P. Barwick 

T. Short J. Lefebur 

C. Farell 

Aderat etiam Inclytus ille Heros, Regis Frater 
Unicus, Regnique Optimo Jure Haeres, Jacobus tune 
Eboraci quidem et Albaniae Dux illustrissimus, hodie 
vero Britaniaru Augustissimus Monarcha, qui summa 
in Regem Pietate et plusquam Fraterno Amore affectus, 
de illius Salute usque adeo sollicitus fuit, ut a decum- 
bentis lecto vix unquam decedere sustinuerit, nunc 
totus in luctu versans, nunc sedulus exequendis Medi- 
corum Consiliis ipsemet invigilans alias ab Archiatro 
Coelesti Opem Auxiliumque ardentissimis precibus 
votisque et gemitibus subinde effusis implorans, ut 

E 2 


omnibus constiterit maluisse ipsum Clarissimi Fratris 
consortio perfrui, quam Sceptro, frustra reluctantibus 
Fatis. Nam post tot Amicorum Vota et Suspiria, post 
omne genus Medelae a fidelissimis juxta et eruditissimis 
Medicis tentatum, Regum Optimus Orthopnoea lethali 
ex improviso correptus, quae cum subinde violentiam 
remitteret, mox acrius recrudesceret, fomite mali per- 
petuo superstite, tandem toto Naturae robore Dolorum 
immanitate attrito, mortalem Coronam placide deposuit, 
ut acciperet Immortalem. 

Expiravit Februar. Sexto paulo post meridiem, 
Anno Aetatis quinquagesimo quarto ad finem 

In Caroli Secundi Augustissimi 

Britafiiarum Regis Corpore 

aperto post mortem 


i. In Cerebri Cortice Venae et Arteriae supra modum 

2. Cerebri turn ventriculi omnes serosa quadam 
materia inundati, turn ipsa substantia consimili humore 
haud leviter imbuta. 

3. Thoraci dextri lateris Pulmones Pleurae tenaciter 
adhaerentes, sinistra vero plane liberi, quemadmodum 
ex Naturae institute in sanis esse solet. 

4. Pulmonum substantia neutiquam culpanda quidem, 
sed Sanguine referta. 

5. Cor amplum firmumque, et in omnibus rectissime 

6. In infimo ventre nihil praeter naturale, nisi quod 
Hepatis color ad lividitatem inclinaret, forte a sanguinis 
inibi restitantis pleonasmo, quo Renes et Lien cerne- 
bantur suflfarcinati. 


FEB. 2, 1684. 

PRECISELY at eight o'clock His Most Serene Majesty 
King Charles the Second, having just left his bed, was 
walking about quietly in his bed-chamber, when he felt 
some unusual disturbance in his brain, which was soon 
followed by loss of speech and convulsions of some 

There happened to be present at the time two in 
all of the King's Physicians, and they, so as promptly 
to forestal so serious a danger to this best of Kings, 
opened a vein in his right arm, and drew off about 
sixteen ounces of blood. Meantime too the rest of the 
Physicians had been summoned by express messengers, 
and flocked quickly to the King's assistance ; and after 
they had held a consultation together, they strenuously 
endeavoured to afford timely succour to His Majesty 
in his dangerous state. 

Indeed they prescribed three cupping-glasses to be 
applied to his shoulders, to be quickly followed by 
scarification deep enough to effect a fuller and more 
vigorous revulsion, and in this manner about eight 
ounces of blood were withdrawn. 

Within a few moments after this, so as to free his 
stomach of all impurities, and by the same action to rid 
his whole nervous system of anything harmful to it, 
they administered an Emetic, to wit, half an ounce of 
Orange Infusion of the metals, made in white wine ; 
and as only a small part of this was taken, so that 
their endeavour might not be altogether frustrated, 
they added one drachm of white vitriol dissolved in 
compound Paeony Water. 

1 In the translation the crabbed form of the original, and the 
varied spelling of the proper names have been adhered to as closely 
as possible. 


Soon afterwards they gave as well one drachm of 
two-blend Pills, likewise dissolved in Paeony Water, 
and this so as to drain away the humours more speedily 
by his nether channels. 

Further, so as to accelerate the operation of that 
Purgative, they supplemented it with an Enema made 
up as follows : 

R. Common Decoction for Clysters i pint 
Powder of Sacred Bitter i ounce 

Syrup of Buckthorn 2 ounces 

Rock Salt \ drachm 

Orange Infusion of the metals 2 ounces 

To be mixed. 

All these remedies were ordered by these Physicians 
in consultation : 

Chas. Scarburgh C. Frasier 

Edm. Dickenson Tho. Short 

Rich. Lower Edm. King 

After one or two hours they repeated the Clyster, 
with the addition of 2 ounces of Syrup of Buckthorn, 
4 ounces of Emetic Wine, and 2 drachms of Rock Salt. 
But as these were slow in operation, they made still 
another effort to attain the same end with yet more 
purgatives, prepared as follows : 

R. Two-blend Pills 2 drachms, dissolved in compound 
Paeony Water 3 ounces, of which the King was to take 
i ounce immediately, the remainder to be reserved for 
future use. 

Over and above this, so as to leave no stone unturned, 
Blistering agents were applied all over his head, after 
his hair had been shaved. 
Those in consultation : 

Chas. Scarburgh F. Mendes 

Thos. Witherly Rich. Lower 

Edmund Dickenson Tho. Short 
W r . Charleton Edm. King 

C. Frasier 


As evening came on, so as to persevere in their object 
of diverting and withdrawing the humours from his 
head, and at the same time to give strength to his loaded 
brain, they prescribed the following combination : 

R. Sacred Bitter Powder i ounce 

Compound Paeony Water i pint 
Bryony Compound \ pint 

Mix and make a Tincture. 

To be taken as often, and in such quantities, as the 
Physicians present may deem advisable. 

At the same time, so as to excite sneezing, a powder 
was prepared of a drachm of White Hellebore roots, 
to be kept in readiness to be applied to the King's 
nostrils, as occasion arose. 

A second Powder also was made up out of 4 ounces 
of Cowslip flowers (to strengthen his brain). 

Those in consultation : 

C. Scarburgh Tho. Short 

Tho. Witherly R. Lower 

W r . Charleton Edm. King 

Edm. Dickenson M. Lyster 

C. Frasier Fer. Mendes 

So as to keep his bowels active at night as well, the 
following remedy was prescribed : 

R. Best Manna 3 ounces. Dissolve 

in Barley Water i pint. Filter, 
add Cream of Tartar i drachm, of which 
take 3 ounces every second hour. 

At the same time, so as to counteract the scalding 
of his urine, likely to result from the use of blistering 
drugs, an Emulsion was made up as follows, to be 
drunk as often as required : 


R. Decoction of Barley with Liquorice 3 pints 
Sweet Almond Kernels No. 20 

To be made into an Emulsion and sweetened with 
white Sugar. 

C. Scarburgh F. Mendes Edm. King 
T.Witherly T. Short M. Lyster 

W r . Charleton R. Lower J. Lefebvre 
E. Dickenson C. Frasier 

To these was added further a mild Laxative of Sacred 

Tincture extracted in white Wine, 3 ounces, to be 

administered soon after the enema was returned. But 

the formula of that enema was as under : 

R. Common Decoction i pint. Sacred Powder i ounce 

Rock Salt i J drachms. Syrup of Buckthorn 3 ounces 

The prescription for these remedies was signed by 

L. Rugely. 

Meantime steps were taken to stave off thirst by 
the following, calculated at the same time to move the 

R. Best Manna 6 drachms. Cream of Tartar | drachm, 
dissolve in a draught of thin broth or 3 ounces of 
Barley Water. To be taken. 

It was also decided that His Majesty the King should 
continue to take both the emulsion and the thin broth 
alternately, with a draught of light ale made without 
hops introduced from time to time as occasion deter- 
mined throughout the night. 

While these measures were being carried out, Spirit 
of Sal Ammoniac was applied now and again to His 
Most Serene Majesty's nostrils, both as a cerebral stimu- 
lant, and to excite Sneezing. At intervals also, twenty 
drops of the same Spirit, but of the Succinate kind, were 
given in a small draught of Antidotal Milk Water. 

So as to leave nothing at all untried, to promote still 
further both the revulsion and the derivation from 


his Head, Cephalic Plasters combined with Spurge and 
Burgundy Pitch, in equal parts, were applied to the 
soles of his feet. 

And in this way came to a close 

the Consultations of the Physicians held 

on the first day. 

February 3. 

The Physicians ordered His Most Serene Majesty 
to go on taking the Sacred Tincture every six hours, 
in the dose previously mentioned, with the addition at 
the intervening hours of a dose of Manna prescribed 
with Cream of Tartar, dissolved in light broth ; also, 
to mitigate the distress produced by his difficulty of 
micturition, to use the Emulsion between times : while 
to revive his strength and in the same way to stimulate 
his brain, they administered Spirits of Sal Ammoniac 
in Antidotal Milk Water, as often as exhaustion seemed 
to demand. 
The following authorized this advice : 

C. Scarburgh T. Witherly 

W r . Charleton C. Frasier 

Edm. Dickenson F. Mendes 

T. Short R. Lower 

E. King E. Browne 

J. Lefebvre M. Lister 

These same meeting again close on noon, considered 
it necessary to open both jugular veins and draw off 
about ten ounces of blood, as soon as ever it could 
be conveniently managed. 

After this was done, so as to mitigate the scalding 
of the Urine that the Blistering agents would inevitably 
set up, the following Emulsion was prescribed : 

R. Dried Mallow Root i ounce. Heat in 2 or 3 
pints of Barley Water. Sweet Almond Kernels 
N 6. Melon Seeds I drachm. Make into an 


Emulsion to be sweetened with Syrup of Mallow, 
i ounce. Of this let him take a small draught 
as often as may be to relieve Thirst and allay 
Difficulty of Micturition. 

Decoction of Barley was repeated, and in i pint of 
it were dissolved 3 ounces of Best Manna, of which 
6 tablespoonfuls were administered every third hour 
in a draught of Chicken broth, so as to keep the bowels 
acting from time to time. 

At this juncture, as the King was complaining of 
pain in his throat, in which a superficial Excoriation 
was to be seen, the following Gargle was prescribed : 
R. Inner Bark of Elm i ounce 

Heat in i to 2 pints of Barley Water, 
Filter : add i ounce of Syrup of Mallow. Mix. 
C. Scarburgh E. Browne 

T. Short W r . Charleton 

F. Mendes R. Lower 

Further it seemed most desirable that his bowels 
should be kept continuously relaxed, by administering 
for that purpose 2 ounces of the Sacred Tincture just 
mentioned, and repeating subsequently the usual dose 
of Manna dissolved as stated above; and that small 
draughts of the Emulsion and of the light Broth should 
be given alternately. 

Besides this, paying heed to the vital indication of 
the case, a Julep was written out as follows : 

R. Black Cherry Water : Flowers of Lime, 6 ounces 
of each, Lilies of the Valley 4 ounces : Paeony 
Compound 2 ounces. Compound Spirit of 
Lavender ounce. Prepared Pearls, 2 drachms : 
White Sugar Candy to taste, sufficient to make 
a Julep : of which he might sip, as often as he 
pleased, 4. 5. or 6 Tablespoonfuls, particularly 
when exhausted. 


To this advice the following gave unanimous approval : 
C. Scarburgh E. Browne 

T. Witherly E. King 

E. Dickenson T. Short 

W r . Charleton J. Lefebvre 

T. Middleton M. Lister 

R. Lower C. Farrell 

As the same need for purgation still remained urgent, 
they administered afresh Sacred Tincture 3 ounces, 
with Syrup of Buckthorn 6 drachms. Compound 
Paeony Water 3 ounces, and at 2 a. m. also 2 ounces 
of Syrup of Buckthorn were introduced, in a draught 
of Infusion of Manna. 
This was the joint advice of: 

C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

T. Witherly F. Mendes 

W. Charlton T. Short 

C. Frasier M. Lister 

E. Browne J. Lefebvre 

February 4. 

It seemed advisable to the Physicians to prescribe 
a mild laxative Decoction, composed as follows, to be 
kept for use as occasion arose : 

R. White Tartar ounce. Heat in i pints of 
Spring Water. White Wine \ pint : then infuse 
i-J ounces of Senna Leaves. Best Manna, 4 
ounces. Flowers of Chamomile, 2 handfuls. 
Gentian Root, \ drachm. Nutmeg i drachm: 
at a gentle heat for 3 hours: then filter and 
purify by settlement. 

C. Scarburgh E. Browne M. Lister 

T. Witherly T. Short E. King 

T. Millington R. Lower C. Farrell 

W r . Charlton F. Mendes J. Lefebvre 

E. Dickenson 


All the above met afresh in consultation in the 
afternoon and ordered the following remedies : 

4 ounces of the Decoction just described to be given 
to His Majesty the King at 9 p.m., the same dose to be 
repeated at 2 or 3 a.m. if it seem advisable to the 
Physicians in attendance. 

Along with this His Serene Majesty's strength should 
be supported throughout the night with drinks of light 
broth, with draughts of Emulsion and with liquid 
Posset, first one, then another, with now and then 
as a change Ale made without hops, and occasionally 
the usual dose of Cerebro-Cardiac Julep, especially 
in presence of exhaustion. 

Further, as His Serene Majesty's condition became 
more grave as the night advanced, the Physicians who 
were watching him considered it advisable to administer 
the following small draught : 

R. Spirit of human Skull 40 drops. 

Take in an ounce and a half of Cordial Julep as soon 
as possible. 

The advisers were : 

C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

E. Dickenson F. Mendes 

T. Millington C. Farwell 

Pet. Barwick 

February 5. 

As the Physicians who had kept anxious watch in 
the King's Bedchamber had noticed that His Majesty's 
illness underwent each night some exacerbation or 
paroxysmal increase, and as some of them had stated 
confidently that some sort of intermittent fever was 
prevalent in town, which though it came on with 
alarming convulsions at the onset still was readily 
brought to an end by the use of Peruvian Bark Febri- 
fuge (after appropriate preliminary measures) ; on this 


account they were unanimously of opinion, that this 
Bark should be administered to His Serene Majesty, 
so as to anticipate speedily and surely the nocturnal 
exacerbations of the symptoms. Accordingly they 
prescribed Bark to be given in the following 
manner : 

R Fine powder of Peruvian Bark, i drachm. Anti- 
dotal Milk Water, 4 ounces. Syrup of Cloves, 
2 drachms. Mix and make a small draught, 
to be taken when indicated, and repeated as 
often as may seem advisable to the Physicians 
in attendance. 

This prescription was signed by the following : 
T. Witherly C. Scarburgh W r . Charleton 

T. Millington Edm. Dickenson R. Lower 
T. Short E. Browne F. Mendes 

Edm. King C. Frasier J. Lefebvre 

E. Farrell M. Lister 

They also determined with one consent that a specified 
dose of Febrifuge Bark should be handed to His Most 
Serene Majesty at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., and also at noon 
in 4 ounces of Antidotal Milk Water, and to introduce 
at the intermediate hours 40 drops of Spirit of Human 
Skull in an ounce and a half of Pearl Julep. 

February 6. 

As the illness was now becoming more grave and His 
Most Serene Majesty's strength (Woe's me !) gradually 
failing the Physicians were compelled to have recourse 
to the more active Cardiac Tonics, and to prescribe the 
following : 

R. Raleigh's Stronger Antidote | drachm 

To be taken at once in a Tablespoonful of Pearl Julep, 

and followed soon after by 4 Tablespoonfuls 

of the same Julep. 

R. Goa Stone i scruple. To be taken an hour or 
two later in a draught of Broth. 


The Consultants were 

C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

T. Witherly E. Browne 

W r . Charleton T. Short 

T. Millington C. Frasier 

P. Barwick F. Mendes 

E. King C. Farel 

J. Lefebvre M. Lister 

Some hours afterwards they met again and being 
reduced almost to their last resource instituted the 
following line of treatment : 
R. Peruvian Bark i| drachms. Rhine Wine 3 ounces. 

To be mixed and administered forthwith. 
His Most Serene Majesty was to persist in taking 
Spirit of Sal Ammoniac blended with an ounce and a half 
of Cordial Julep, in the quantity previously determined 
and at the appointed times. 

At 8 p.m. he was to take 20 drops of Succinate 
Spirit of Sal Ammoniac in 4 Tablespoonfuls of Pearl 
Julep, and the same dose of each every other hour as 
long as the Physicians watching him shall deem fit. 

R. Oriental Bezoar Stone 2 scruples 
To be taken in a Tablespoonful of Pearl Julep, 
and followed soon after by the usual dose of 
the same Julep. 

Three hours later His Serene Majesty sinking lower 
and lower, the following was prescribed : 

R. The Julep aforesaid 5 table-spoonfuls 
Spirit of Sal Ammoniac 20 drops 
To be mixed into a small draught 
and drunk there and then. 

In consultation : 

C. Scarburgh R. Lower 

W r . Charlton F. Mendes 

P. Barwick E. King 

T. Millington M. Lister 
E. Browne 


But (alas!) after an ill-fated night His Serene Majesty's 
strength seemed exhausted to such a degree, that the 
whole assemblage of Physicians lost all hope and became 
despondent: still so as not to appear to fail in doing 
their duty in any detail, they brought into play that 
most active Cordial: 

R. Raleigh's Antidote i drachm 
Pearl Julep 5 tablespoonfuls 
Succinate Spirit of Sal Ammoniac 20 drops. 
Mix. To be administered forthwith. 
At this last and most dismal meeting of Physicians 
there were present: 

C. Scarburgh T. Witherly 

E. Dickenson T. Millington 

E. Browne R. Lower 

R. Brady P. Barwick 

T. Short J. Lefebvre 

C. Farell 

There was present also that renowned Hero, the 
King's only Brother, and Heir by an unimpeachable 
title to the Crown, James then most illustrious Duke 
of York and also of Albany, to-day however Most 
August Monarch of the Britains, who moved by the 
deepest affection for the King and by a more than 
brotherly love, was so anxious for his recovery, that 
he scarcely ever had the heart to leave the prostrate 
King's bedside, at times completely overwhelmed with 
grief, at times himself watching attentively the following 
out of the Physicians' instructions, at other times im- 
ploring Heaven's Arch- Healer for help and succour 
with most earnest prayers and vows and with repeated 
lamentations, so that it was clear to all that he 
preferred to enjoy the comradeship of his Most Dis- 
tinguished Brother, rather than the Sceptre, but to 
no purpose, for the Fates were arrayed against him. 
For in spite of the vows and sighs of so many 
friends, in spite of every kind of treatment attempted 


by Physicians of the greatest loyalty and skill, this 
Best of Kings was seized quite unexpectedly by a 
mortal distress of breathing that compelled him to 
sit upright ; and though from time to time its violence 
abated, it soon returned more urgently than before, 
for the tinder the disease had fired still smouldered 
unceasingly, till at length all his natural strength was 
exhausted by the immensity of his sufferings, and he 
peacefully laid down his mortal Crown, to take up 
an Immortal. 

He expired on February the Sixth soon after noon, 
Towards the end of the fifty-fourth year of his age. 
In the Body of Charles the Second, Most August 
King of the Britains, when opened after death 

were found : 

i. On the Surface of the Brain the Veins and Arteries 
were unduly full. 

2. All the Cerebral ventricles were filled with a kind 
of serous matter, and the substance of the Brain itself 
was quite soaked with similar fluid. 

3. On the right side the Lungs and Pleura were 
firmly adherent to the chest-wall, but on the left side 
they were quite free, as Nature has ordained they 
should be in health. 

4. No fault whatever could be found with the sub- 
stance of the Lungs, but they were charged with blood. 

5. The heart was large and firm, and quite free from 
malformation in every part. 

6. In the depths of the belly there was nothing 
unnatural, except that the Liver was inclined to be livid 
in colour, perhaps because of the abundance of blood 
in it, with which the Kidneys and Spleen were also 

3213 I 



DA Crawfurd, (Sir) Paymond 

445 Henry Payne 

C73 The last days of Charles II